Today at 11:42 AM EST, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft boldly smacked into the Pacific Ocean, just as planned. Here it bobs, waiting for recovery by boats, which will tow it back to land. For more coverage of SpaceX's recent launch, click here.
Well done, SpaceX!
Before anybody asks, that is NOT a crack in the side. Those grooves are just used to house the parachute lines, and the covers to those lines were blown away after reentry.
I hope they took a great many sensor reading as it traveled back to Earth. I am curious of the temperature, interior atmosphere pressures, g-forces, and etc. inside this unit as it traveled from space and splash landed.
It is nice to see it floats!
It looks scorched. Does the outer shell need repairs when it comes back or just fresh paint?
No word yet about today's flight, but at the press conference today Elon Musk said that during last test before this mission the descent would have been "comfortable" for the astronauts had it been a manned flight.
YOU DO REALIZE -- This WHOLE flight is CONTROLLED BY NASA, NASA Engineers, NASA Launch facility, NASA Tracking, NASA Hardware, NASA Fuel, NASA Guidance to the ISS, NASA or Russian Astronauts, NASA Guidance to Land, USN Ships to Pick it up. ALL Space X did was build it (with Ex NASA Engineers).
So HOW IS THIS any different than Boeing, Lockheed, Northrup, Ball Aerospace, Etc. building rockets and capsules for NASA?????
Answer - NOTHING!!! Space X ISN'T A FIRST!!
websterphreaky, might want to go back to the research board... Space X is owned,operated and funded by a private organization. They have been working *WITH* (not for) NASA only because NASA has been doing it for longer than any other country or entity. NASA still owns the launch pads, recovery ships, communication sites, etc etc etc. SO yes, it IS a first, a craft, built by the private sector has launched, remotely controlled, berthed, seperated, re-entered and splashed down with cargo.
The big difference... NASA didn't drop a penny on anything, it was completely funded by a single privately owned company NOT a government owned/funded organization.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
1. Yes, some of the engineers of SpaceX were NASA. However, not all of them are. Plus, a former NASA engineer at SpaceX does not mean that NASA directs SpaceX.
2. The rocket and capsule were built in Hawthorne, CA. Cape Canaveral was used for the launch because SpaceX doesn't have it's own facilities YET. They are now refurbishing an abandoned launch pad at Vandenburg AFB, which will be solely for the Falcon Heavy.
3. NASA tracking facilities are the best in the world- why should the company reinvent the wheel?
4. No astronauts were on board, but SpaceX will start drafting its first batch of astronauts in a few years. And what's so bad about getting paid to ferry other people around? It's called an airline (spaceline?)
5. Who cares about what recovered the ship? Isn't that just an extremely minor detail in an otherwise incredible mission?
NASA has become inept in many regards and I applaud SpaceX for becoming the first to start a trend that will take humanity further into the stars.
The SpaceX mission is historic... because it ends the 50 year monopoly of big govt NASA over US space...
With the Nasa monopoly… after 50 years, fewer than 500 Americans have been in space.. costing taxpayers over $1 billion each... and no American has left low earth orbit in over 40 years.. despite $500 billion spent on manned space flight.. and now Nasa can't even launch an American into space..
The US space program is too important to be further entrusted to our pork driven, wasteful, incompetent Federal Govt...
We need to fund private enterprise innovation, efficiency, spirit.. have a rational US space program which works for Americans
We must not double down on more lost decades of Fed Govt waste, pork, incompetence….
Thanks Militaryman97 -- I could not figure out what caused the "Liberty Bell" crack that's so prominent in the photo (it didn't appear in any in-orbit shots).
Another successful accomplishment for the private space industry!!!