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SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the eggs-and-dye-mostly dept.

ISS 87

Reuters reports on the successful SpaceX-carried resupply mission to the ISS: "A cargo ship owned by Space Exploration Technologies arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, with a delivery of supplies and science experiments for the crew and a pair of legs for the experimental humanoid robot aboard that one day may be used in a spacewalk. Station commander Koichi Wakata used the outpost's 58-foot (18-meter) robotic crane to snare the Dragon capsule from orbit at 7:14 a.m. (1114 GMT), ending its 36-hour journey. ... "The Easter Dragon is knocking at the door," astronaut Randy Bresnik radioed to the crew from Mission Control in Houston. Space Exploration, known as SpaceX, had planned to launch its Dragon cargo ship in March, but was delayed by technical problems, including a two-week hold to replace a damaged U.S. Air Force radar tracking system."

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SpaceX - Mother of Dragons (3, Funny)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 6 months ago | (#46801047)

Can't wait until they get Dragonrider working.

yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801053)

yay!!!!!!

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801153)

Sorry to be raining on your leftard parade, but this is the work of private initiative, not state.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801279)

And who do you think paid SpaceX to do it? Retard.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 months ago | (#46805669)

Gee, maybe the agency that needed it's services and couldn't do it itself?

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801393)

>SpaceX is one of two companies hired by NASA to fly cargo to the space station

So instead of just doing it themselves they write a check to Elon Musk to do it who then pockets a sizable chunk of your tax dollars as profit.

Corporations and government combined is the definition of fascism according to Mussolini.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (3, Insightful)

St.Creed (853824) | about 6 months ago | (#46801597)

Corporations and government combined is the definition of fascism according to Mussolini.

Since when did Mussolini have a valid opinion on anything? He was spouting propaganda, not delivering a scientific argument. As for writing a check to Elon Musk: are you implying that any government buying a service from a private company is a fascist state? Because I don't think you and I have the same definition of fascism in that case.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801655)

Since when did Mussolini have a valid opinion on anything? He was spouting propaganda, not delivering a scientific argument.

I know we like to think of history's losers as irrelevant, but the guy created modern fascism, and he was defining it, not "delivering a scientific argument" (where do you monkeys get your straw men from?).

As for writing a check to Elon Musk: are you implying that any government buying a service from a private company is a fascist state?

Straw man the second. Taking money from the people and putting it in the pockets of the elite just because they're strong is fascism. If a private company was needed to provide a service, that would not be fascism. If we give money to a wealthy person because we think it's ideologically appropriate to do so, IOW we take from the average to give to the rich because of some patriotic vision of manifest destiny, that's fascism.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46806025)

Mod parent up!

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about 5 months ago | (#46809195)

Mussolini created modern fascism, but his definition was both stupid and misleading. First, in any modern state government will always be intertwined with corporations because the state is the executive committee of the biggest corporations. That's not fascism, that's just capitalism working as intended. It becomes fascism when it removes all opposition, eliminating them first from the streets and then physically. And even then there are a few distinctions between just murderously oppressive states and fascist states.

Taking money from the people and putting it in the pockets of the elite just because they're strong is fascism

We take from the average to give to the rich because of some patriotic vision of manifest destiny, that's fascism.

You're pretty creative with your definitions of fascism. You may not like these things (and neither do I) but calling everything you dislike "fascist" is the old trap the Left fell in, in the seventies. It didn't work out all that well. It's also an argument used by entrepreneurs to defend themselves whenever their compatriots plunder the locals. "Oh, it's fascism, really it is! But it's not us doing it, we're allright" (the No True Scotsman argument in reverse).

You also trip lightly over the consequences of your words. If it were fascism, then we would have to take up arms and kill them, to avoid being killed ourselves. Well, that attitude recently got us a few political murders. A heaven-sent gift for the hawks advocating repression and horribly counterproductive. And if that isn't the consequence of something being fascism, then what's your plan of action? Petition them? Ask them nicely?

To summarize: you haven't a clue what fascism is. It's not people being "not nice" to others. It's about the physical destruction of a large part of the majority of the population, mainly aimed at their organisations and their organisers. It means bodies lying in the streets, knocks on the door at 4am, death squads and all that crap. It means that anyone suspected of being different is imprisoned, killed or terrorized into hiding.

Comparing that to "Elon Musk gets money from the government so we're living in fascism" is silly.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (2)

Alex Vulpes (2836855) | about 6 months ago | (#46802469)

Oh for goodness sake... governments pay companies to do things. It's normal, it happens all the time. (Ford makes police cars, for example.) Even when the government "does it themselves" there are usually contractors involved. The difference here is that the deals with SpaceX and Orbital are more hands-off than the old ones with Boeing and Lockheed. (And also cheaper -- Flacon 9 costs a lot less than Atlas V or Delta IV.)

Fascism, from my understanding, originally meant a system where the government controls corporations. It has more recently come to mean a system where corporations control the government, or a system where individuals have litte or no freedom. Regardless, none of these really has much to do with the contract SpaceX is working under. Yes the government is heavily involved (helping pay for development in addition to the launches themselves, etc), but compared to traditional contracts it's a step away from corporations being intertwined with government.

Odd (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803319)

Why do you neo-cons scream against private space when it is not in your district, and this is a fraction of the costs of your SLS solution?
You scream about the profits on this, and yet, $/KG is less than what Russia, OSC, Shuttle, SLS, Atlas, Delta, Ariane 5, China, etc would charge. IOW, this is working the way it is supposed to by lowering the costs of space travel.
So, what do you neo-cons/tea* types have against private space? Seriously.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#46804789)

Corporations and government combined is the definition of fascism according to Mussolini.

Corporations being in the government is fascism. A government buying things from a corporation is just business as usual. Or do you think it's a sign of creeping nazism that the government doesn't fuel its fire trucks exclusively from government-owned refineries?

And, frankly, we should all be happy that space flight is starting to de-orbit from heights of expense only a government can afford and enter the sphere of what a company - and eventually an individual - might.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

Rolgar (556636) | about 5 months ago | (#46804795)

Look, if there was no profit, he wouldn't do it.

Think of it like this:

Possible outcomes assuming no profit: Elon looks at the deal, and the possible outcomes are: #1SpaceX is wildly successful, and breaks even. SpaceX is wildly successful and loses money because of unforeseen costs. SpaceX fails, and Elon loses most of his wealth. SpaceX succeeds but doesn't run a surplus/profit, can't set anything aside, and years down the road, a launch fails and there is no reserve funds to get them through the hard times and failure happens eventually. Elon loses interest, never starts SpaceX, because he doesn't foresee the profit to launch his own rockets to jump start space colonies because governments don't want to do it themselves, and the US space industry continues to rot.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46805591)

So instead of just doing it themselves they write a check to Elon Musk to do it who then pockets a sizable chunk of your tax dollars as profit.

The cargo is going to the ISS anyway. Instead it could have been put onboard an unmanned version of the Orion spacecraft that U.S. taxpayers have already spent over $10 billion to develop (with its SLS launcher... earlier it should have been the Ares-1 which also had several billion dumped into developing and only flew once before being cancelled).

The point is that NASA has tried but is singularly incapable of being able to accomplish this task right now. Instead, the money goes to Russia, which is the only real choice right now. Is it better to give the money to Elon Musk or a bunch of Russian oligarchs?

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801161)

This. At least when Boeing was suckling from government teat using government engineers, launching from government land and employing publicly-educated engineers, it didn't have the gall to advertise that "Boeing successfully delivers...", just collect the money.

What a shame. Once there was hope that humanity could escape the idiocy of the religion of the Invisible Hand. It seems even that dream is further away now. Well, unless China overtakes the US, anyway :D.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46805639)

This. At least when Boeing was suckling from government teat using government engineers, launching from government land and employing publicly-educated engineers, it didn't have the gall to advertise that "Boeing successfully delivers...", just collect the money.

Oh really? Boeing has never bragged about its connections to NASA and its accomplishments in space?

I guess you learn something new every day.

Re:yayy!!! Cheer our corporate fascist state! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46801291)

Somebody tell the Georgists that there's lots of land on Mars to not own and let's see them beat Musk to the stars. The more the merrier!

Easter Dragon! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801147)

Take that you fucking jew bastards!

SD Censorship (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801157)

Here it is:

I think you Americans first and foremost need to fix the madhouse of NY finance. These folks will happily destroy completely healthy industries and they have spread their cyncial view of how people should cheat each other in order to get weatlhy.

In other words, you need a guy like Vlad Putin to run the show in Washington. And I mean this totally serious - Putin cleaned out the Augias Stable that had developed under Jelzin. Russians almost starved while some insanely rich bastards (as in Bill-Gates class rich) stole the natural riches of the largest country on the globe.

I am not from the FSB, neither do I have business relationships with Russia. I am just fucked over by NY like most other people in Pax Americana countries. And I can see through the mainstream lies.

Free enterprise can work nicely, if the state clamps down on irresponsible and cyncial finance actors.

AT Slashdot Censor: come on, let me post this message.

This message was in response to

Begs for Change (+1)
Jim Sadler 7 hours ago
As we already have too many folks begging for change how about we get smart and really beg for change. That is to say let's get real and admit that we nee to do a basic change in the way the economy works. The old ideas and methods do not fit into modern realities at all. A redistribution of wealth is in order as well as the simple fact that we will have less and less jobs available every year. That spells disaster as we clearly will have more and more people available every year. Here is a demonstration of why the economic model does not work now. Picture seven hundred coal miners per shift going down into the mine and producing coal. Now picture modern mining equipment being delivered and instead of seven hundred workers only twelve are now on each shift to produce even more coal than the seven hundred men used to do. But here is the snag. The price of coal keeps going up and up. Coal is less affordable despite getting rid of almost all of the workers. Then we start to understand just how severe the effects of burning coal really are and we start to restrict the use of coal sharply. Meanwhile we flood the labor markets with ever more immigrants seeking work. But other effects kick in. In the bad old days a man could go catch a fish if he was short on food. But almost no fish in W. Virginia or Kentucky are at all safe to eat because coal has left heavy metals in almost 100% of the rivers, streams and ponds in those states. Meanwhile we really don't want the public to be aware that crops also pick up those nasty pollutants and if the water is not fit to drink chances are the tomato or corn or spinach grown on that land is also unfit for food. Then we turn around and feed that stuff to beef, to chickens or make pellets to feed fish on fish farms. After all who will really blow the whistle on pollutants in the food supply?
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Re:SD Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801253)

What's to fix? Obviously you have not taken the time to put yourself in the typical NY'ers shoes. While most here are not directly tied to the finance industry, I'd venture to say even the most inexperienced of us has a thug like Putin outclassed.
I mean, we're so skilled at fucking people out of their own shit we modeled the whole Democratic party after it. - Don't give the current Chicago group too much credit, Hillary is coming, and you haven't seen nuthin yet.
note to self: wonder if the ole girl will brick up the Lincoln bedroom?

Re:SD Censorship (1, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | about 5 months ago | (#46804235)

We had a guy like Putin running the show - his name was George W. Bush... and I sincerely doubt you want him back.

Re:SD Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46806219)

I didn't know Dubya was ex-CIA!

Pair of legs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801189)

pair of legs for the experimental humanoid robot aboard that one day may be used in a spacewalk

Because everyone knows that any robot needs prosthetic legs in order to "walk" in space...

Re:Pair of legs... (2)

Alex Vulpes (2836855) | about 6 months ago | (#46802489)

I think the legs attach to things on the outside of the ISS, so it'll basically crawl around like a two-legged spider or something.

And sure, you could have a free-floating robot that maneuvers with thrusters, but that's just too complicated. (Plus it would need refueling.)

Re:Pair of legs... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 months ago | (#46805681)

Like the Canadarm?

I guess that robot can finally get off it's butt (1)

Spock2001 (3621531) | about 6 months ago | (#46801223)

Now that it has legs...

Re:I guess that robot can finally get off it's but (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 5 months ago | (#46803731)

Since it's intended for space walks, why the ${IMPRECATION} does it needs legs?

I was going to say 'why on Earth', but that's kind of the point. It's not going to be on Earth. It's going to be in zero-gravity, where legs are completely useless.

Re:I guess that robot can finally get off it's but (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 months ago | (#46805693)

For the same reason the Canadarm does... to anchor it to various points on the vehicle.

Big day in Space (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#46801241)

NASA's LADEE [thespacereporter.com] ends it's mission to explore the Moon's atmosphere, and Space-X docks at the ISS.

Where are all those who keep saying the US has lost it's interest in Space?

Re:Big day in Space (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 6 months ago | (#46801893)

Without the glamor of our own human transport though.

Yeah, there's been problems, and there is increasing budget pressure. It seems NASA is the only government organization that actually get consistently cut. I kind of agree with Ares I getting cut, it was a boondoggle and suffing some problems that weren't well-publicized.

Re:Big day in Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802449)

They are busy learning the difference between ITS and IT'S.

Good to see that all of the Republicans... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801335)

that tried to stop this failed. Progress will continue on despite their attempts to take us back to the dark ages. And, it's great timing when they're celebrating a zombie on Hitler's birthday.

Re:Good to see that all of the Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801653)

Same stupid off topic troll in every thread. What a moron.

Re:Good to see that all of the Republicans... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803335)

Well, obviously, u are moderating, and are afraid to put your real name down, but I would have to say that the original poster was spot on, since that is exactly what has been going on. The house republicans have worked to gut American human launch.

Re:Good to see that all of the Republicans... (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803331)

Keep in mind that Griffin persuaded a republican congress to support COTS for cargo delivery. Now, it was O that keeps this, along with human launch systems, going, though house republicans are working to kill off the HUMAN LAUNCH portion, not the cargo.
Yes, the house republicans have had NO ISSUES with send 2B to Russia to launch humans, but they object to spending 1B to create 3 American companies that can/will launch humans. Why? Because it will compete against their SLS.
What is amazing is that the house republicans would support Communists and invasions of other nations, then to support our own American companies.

Re:Good to see that all of the Republicans... (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46805793)

Keep in mind that Russia is still sending supplies up to the ISS via the Proton cargo modules... including missions subsidized by the U.S. taxpayers as well.

Be careful about painting all House Republicans with the same brush. While there are certainly some either misguided or even flagrantly ignorant members of that caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives with regards to space policy issues, there are some like Dana Rohrabacher who genuinely do understand the benefits of open competition for launch services and the potential of commercial spaceflight. It doesn't hurt that his district covers the Hawthorne, California manufacturing plant of SpaceX (thus technically one of his constituents), but he talked about these issues even before that part of LA County was incorporated into his district too.

Ignorance of these space policy issues cuts across the aisle as well, where Gabby Giffords (previously the chair of the space sub-committee in the House) was openly hostile to these notions as well and did everything she could to thwart the Obama administration on space policy issues. That she was a Democrat didn't seem to matter, nor did it matter to Nancy Pelosi who could have done something about that too.

This issue of space policy and support of private commercial spaceflght is definitely not a right vs. left or Democrat vs. Republican issue.

Re:Good to see that all of the Republicans... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46811157)

Normally, I scream about the neo-cons/tea*. BUT, to be fair, it is the house republican party that is causing the issues. Interestingly, the tea* speaks for private space, but they continue to support the SLS and taking money from private space.

And Dana, Like Dr. Griffin, has done wonders for private space. He would be a strong supporter of it even if it was not in his district.

And Giffords, along with the dem from Maryland that pushes the NGT, Have been the only 2 dems that have been hostile towards private space. In general, dems have supported BOTH SLS and Private space. Now, to be honest, I view the neo-cons/tea* as being the worst approach for trying to kill off private space, BUT, the dems are just wasting money and are gutless wonders. Make no mistake. Just because I speak out against neo-cons/tea*, does not mean that I support the idiot dems.

And sald, private spaceflight is our best way to not only drop the price of cost to space, but also to turn space into a money maker. That is why I continue to push for federal support of Bigelow Aerospace. They can build a space station in LEO with say 6-8 ppl on-board (ideally, NASA will have 2 ppl on it), and then land a base on the moon by 2020. I have NO DOUBT that if we have a base on the moon in which just about any nation will be allowed there, then private space will make a tonne of money. Just about every nation will want to spend the 50-100 million to put one of their own on the moon for say 2-4 months.

Yay for SpaceX (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | about 6 months ago | (#46801471)

Not only can they deliver supplies to the ISS without the need to pay the Russians to do it but they can probably do it cheaper than the Russians too.

Re:Yay for SpaceX (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 months ago | (#46801615)

but they can't deliver people to the ISS without the Russian's. it is hard to have a manned space station without people on board.

Re:Yay for SpaceX (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#46801785)

Yet.

Dragon is beginning its man-rating tests this year.

And so far, Dragon hasn't manage one single (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802485)

successful flight.

Contrary to what is being claimed, Dragon hasn't manage to complete a full mission without serious problems. Not to mention it hasn't manage to suvive a landing without either crashing in the ocean or receiving significant damage.

Guess why you haven't seen a single picture of video of the re-entry of a Dragon capsule.

Re:And so far, Dragon hasn't manage one single (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802901)

Dragon hasn't manage to complete a full mission without serious problems.

Dragon has delivered the cargo to ISS as contracted on every flight it's been launched on. That's what we call 'success' in the business world. Which were the 'serious problems' on this flight, exactly?

Not to mention it hasn't manage to suvive a landing without either crashing in the ocean or receiving significant damage.

Uh, you do realize it's supposed to, you know, land in the ocean at the moment, and didn't just happen to miss where it was supposed to land?

Guess why you haven't seen a single picture of video of the re-entry of a Dragon capsule.

Because, uh, there's no-one on board to take such pictures?

Wow, the level of intelligence on Slashdot has dropped since I stopped coming here much.

Re:And so far, Dragon hasn't manage one single (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46804189)

Because, uh, there's no-one on board to take such pictures?

I was with you until this piece of utter cretinism...there are people like, you know, *outside* any reentering spacecraft who could take photos or video of the re-entry, like people like, you know, on like the ground and stuff with you know, like telescopic lenses and stuff like that, you know?

As for the level of intelligence comment..it always goes up when you leave.

Re:And so far, Dragon hasn't manage one single (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46805279)

i think he meant inside.

Re:And so far, Dragon hasn't manage one single (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 5 months ago | (#46805123)

Guess why you haven't seen a single picture of video of the re-entry of a Dragon capsule.

Actually there are buckets of photos of recovered capsules. And the first one, I believe, was even donated to the Smithsonian.

Since every CRS flight has returned experiments and samples from ISS, if they failed to reenter properly, SpaceX wouldn't have received payment.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/dragon_ocean_crs1.jpg [parabolicarc.com]

http://seradata.com/SSI/wp-content/uploads/mt/flightglobalweb/blogs/hyperbola/2012/10/30/dragon%20crs1%20small.jpg [seradata.com]

http://www.pddnet.com/sites/pddnet.com/files/KRT-US-NEWS-SPACEX-LAUNCH-3-LA.jpg [pddnet.com]

Re:Yay for SpaceX (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803339)

Actually, as long as you are willing to skip the launch abort system, dragon rider would be ready within 1-2 months to launch humans. In addition, in under 2 months, they could put a craft up to the ISS and return westerners if Russia were to strand us.
And if the house republicans will quit trying to gut CCxDev, SpaceX will launch humans within 12 months.

Re:Yay for SpaceX (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46806115)

I'd mod you up if I hadn't already commented in this thread. The current Dragon already matches the safety requirements of the original (pre-Challenger) Shuttle program. If push comes to shove wrt Russia, we'll be able to rapidly get a "provisional" crewed flight capability, and transition to a fully human-rated system within a couple of years.

Re:Yay for SpaceX (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46811069)

I had not thought about it, but you are right. Dragon is really at the same place that the first flight of the shuttle was. Yeah, some changes have to be made, but nothing major. Great point. Glad somebody modded you up
Now, if the house pubs would quit spending billions on the Russians and would instead support American businesses, SpaceX could be not just ready in under 6 months, but the safest craft to have ever launched.

Big Whoop. (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#46801683)

The first space station went up in 1971. Forty-three years later, private industry figures out how to send a rocket up there. With taxpayers footing the bill.

John Galt is half a retard.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#46801811)

The first space station was designed by private industry (what, you thought NASA did its own design work?).

Apollo and Shuttle, which provided transport to Skylab and ISS, were designed by private industry.

And the only reason taxpayers are footing the bill for rockets to ISS is that NASA is the one that wants supplies sent up there. And can't do it on its own, since it has no spacecraft capable of reaching ISS.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46801941)

The first space station was designed by private industry

Many decades ago, my mother made bank flying to Moscow to sell cars to the USSR, so I'm perfectly aware that apparatchiks had a habit of enjoying delicious capitalist toys... but Salyut and Almaz were the product of a technocratic, centrally-managed Soviet government... and to suggest that Skylab was "designed by private industry" is thoroughly dishonest. MD made an obvious contribution, as did a surprising number of others firms, but the design was directed throughout by NASA. It was public-private partnership done right, where you have the government selecting various specialist firms to do what they do best (on everything from rocket stage construction to industrial design) rather than handing everything over to one private manager for no reason other than ideological imperative.

Mod Parent up, please (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803347)

This is 100% correct. The vast majority of ISS, shuttle, etc. was in fact done by NASA. Of course, that left the hard work to the private industry.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#46802113)

Sorry friend, the design of the NASA space stations were done by NASA. They had private industry do the industrial part because they wanted to reward big political donations.

Either way though, it's a good thing we didn't wait for "private industry" to go to space, or we'd still be in the Sputnik stage.

Re:Big Whoop. (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46804101)

the design of the NASA space stations were done by NASA.

Alas, no. The NASA work on the space stations was limited to design studies that were limited to 'this is what we want a space station to do, and this is the space we have to do it in".

When it came to the engineering part of the design, McDonnell Douglas did Skylab and various companies did ISS (hell, ISS had parts from other countries, much less from outside NASA).

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

tyrione (134248) | about 5 months ago | (#46803601)

The first space station was designed by private industry (what, you thought NASA did its own design work?).

Apollo and Shuttle, which provided transport to Skylab and ISS, were designed by private industry.

And the only reason taxpayers are footing the bill for rockets to ISS is that NASA is the one that wants supplies sent up there. And can't do it on its own, since it has no spacecraft capable of reaching ISS.

Go buy this book and stop spouting crap you know nothing about: ``This New Ocean: The story of the First Space Race,'' by William E. Burrows. You'll learn a lot.

Re:Big Whoop. (5, Interesting)

the gnat (153162) | about 6 months ago | (#46802309)

Forty-three years later, private industry figures out how to send a rocket up there. With taxpayers footing the bill.

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades. Not all of the free-market claims about government inefficiency are nonsense - the previous contractors (all "private industry", loosely defined) had no incentive to develop reusable rockets, because the government just kept paying for new ones.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#46802839)

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Further, none of the profits ever materialize if you look at the external costs of the federal government already having done the hard work. Unless you believe SpaceX started with a clean sheet of paper and didn't make use of the past half-century of government space programs.

At best, you can say that there's a place for government and private industry to work together on the really big things like space travel. Without the government over-spending, there's good reason to believe we'd never have seen any space program at all. Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802921)

If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Yeah, because that multi-billion dollar satellite business just doesn't exist.

My God, Slashdot is full of retards these days.

Re:Big Whoop. (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 6 months ago | (#46803271)

Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

It's not my job to convince you that the private sector would have magically brought about the space age without government intervention, because that isn't what I'm arguing in the first place. Sure, there are lots of examples of technology invented (or aggressively developed) by governments - pretty much anything with military utility, in particular, which includes computers, the Internet, radar, jet engines, and especially anything to do with space. The key detail here is that most of these eventually developed independently and became consumer technologies, rather that continuing to be government programs indefinitely. Yes, this means that private companies eventually get rich because of public sector investment; it's also what makes it possible for us to be having this argument right now. Without Colossus or ENIAC, there would be no iPhone, but if computers and the Internet had been managed like manned spaceflight was, there wouldn't be an iPhone either.

The other important and essential outcome is that it needs to be not just profitable but sustainable; continuing to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into something that never gets cheaper is anything but. SpaceX has already made unmanned launches cheaper; the shuttle program lasted for three decades and it was still hideously expensive when it ended.

The reason this is exciting news is that it's real progress towards making manned space travel yet another consumer technology. Maybe it won't work, or maybe it will only ever be affordable by large companies and the rich; I don't expect to be personally taking any rocket trips before I die. But the same could have been (and probably was) said about airplanes a century ago, and I was never going to be able to ride on the space shuttle either. At least someone is trying to change the way things are done, and doing a decent job of it so far. So what if SpaceX piggybacking off years of government investment? If their business model works, at least we won't have to continue wasting money on something that should have been commodified decades ago, and NASA will be able to focus on science and basic research (and stretch their budget further). Everyone wins.

Re:Big Whoop. (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803351)

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

Hmmm. Russia would charge us 200 million to launch progress to the ISS with 2.3 tonnes and no return.
SpaceX charges us 120 million to launch dragon with 3.3 tonnes up and 2.5 tonnes back.
And Russia WAS the cheapest going.

So, yeah, I would say that it is in fact, less expensive.

Re:Big Whoop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46819731)

Hey WindBourne, I think all those Elon Musk dick juice you swallowed has muddled your arithmetic faculties.
The two previous SpaceX flights have delivered all of 0.5 tonnes each.
This flight is the same hardware so another 0.5 tonnes.
Your claimed 3.3 tonnes will take some SIX(6) SpaceX flights to the ISS at a cost of US$800 million.
The Russians will do the same 3.3 tonnes for US$100 million.

And Russia IS the cheapest going (apparently NASA is of the same school of thought [slashdot.org] ).

You know I heard Russian Vodka is a effective tonic for male ejaculant poisoning that you have been sadly afflicted with.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46804187)

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Hmm, you haven't heard about the market for launching satellites, have you? Which is mostly private. Which 3.5 of the Falcon 9 launches have been.

Projected launches for Falcon 9 over the next few years include eleven launches for the US government, and 17 other launches.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46805971)

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet.

You don't even need to get theoretical here. NASA does not have their own way to bring cargo (or passengers for that matter) to the ISS, so the only realistic comparison is whatever the Russian government (through Roscosmos) wants to charge the U.S. government for delivery to the ISS. Furthermore, the Dragon spacecraft is the only spacecraft built by any country of the Earth that has the capability of bringing cargo from the ISS to the Earth (except for perhaps 20 pounds or so of cargo on the Soyuz spacecraft on each launch.... basically nothing), so price comparisons are against no competition at all.

SpaceX is doing it cheaper than Roscosmos. QED, it is already saving taxpayers money.

As for private interests sending spacecraft on their own dime completely without public investment first, that is what is called alternate history. We just don't know what that would have been like and is pure speculation at best. Sort of like what would have happened had Lee won the Battle of Gettysburg or if the invasion of Normandy in 1944 would have been repulsed by the Wehrmacht.

Re:Big Whoop. (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 6 months ago | (#46803189)

My kingdom for mod points right now :(

The BFD (4, Interesting)

iroll (717924) | about 6 months ago | (#46801725)

Lost in the moronic editing by the eggs-and-dye-mostly department:

After the Falcon 9's first-stage section separated from the upper-stage motor and Dragon capsule, the discarded rocket relit some of its engines to slow its fall back through the atmosphere and position itself to touch down vertically on the ocean before gravity turned it horizontal. The booster also was equipped with four 25-foot-long landings for stabilization.

Data transmitted from an airplane tracking the booster's descent indicated it splashed down intact in the Atlantic Ocean - a first for the company.

"Data upload from tracking plane shows landing in Atlantic was good! Several boats enroute through heavy seas," SpaceX's chief executive, Elon Musk, posted on Twitter late Friday.

This is a Big Fucking Deal. SpaceX publicly gave odds for this working at about 1 in 3. This is an important incremental step in (literally) landing their lower stages, rather than trashing them (like every other launch system) or attempting to recover them after splashdown (like shuttle boosters).

I just can't get excited about SpaceX (0, Redundant)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 6 months ago | (#46801885)

The US civilian space program has regressed to 1970s levels. The greatest nation on earth needs a Russian rocket to get astronauts in space. Some private company with a shitload of government backing does what we used to be able to do 40 years ago on our own, and now people are acting like it's the Second Coming. I suspect that our oligarchy [newyorker.com] has decided that it's better to wait for Corporate America to figure out how to do with we already knew in the first place.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (5, Insightful)

samwhite_y (557562) | about 6 months ago | (#46802291)

Hmm... The gist of this is essentially correct, except for one detail. Cost. The only number that is really going to matter in the end is how much money does it take to put 1 ton of stuff into orbit (or beyond) from the ground. Right now it appears to be $10,000,000 USD or even much higher (based on the numbers I see being thrown around on Slashdot). Government subsidies (such as in Russia), can hide some of this, but this seems to be the essential economic truth. As long as that remains the case, mankind is not going to be a space faring race and venturing into space will mostly be for kicks and bragging rights (and maybe a bit of good science, such as Hubble). What SpaceX offers for the very first time, is a path where we may reduce these costs by a factor of ten or more. If we can start putting a ton of stuff into space for less than $500,000 it will radically change what is possible -- a cost of doing something real goes from $200 trillion to maybe $10 trillion -- something we could spend over a 100 years. Things like real space stations, and large space ships with landing vessels.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 6 months ago | (#46802937)

Lobbing shit into space with a huge failure rate is easy. Now, try doing it where the failure rate is acceptable enough to put an astronaut on your rocket.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802967)

Lobbing shit into space with a huge failure rate is easy. Now, try doing it where the failure rate is acceptable enough to put an astronaut on your rocket.

You mean killing them one time in sixty, like the space shuttle? Shouldn't be hard to do a better job than that.

BTW, since you're clearly another idiot, I'll just point out that no-one in their right mind is going to put a multi-billion dollar satellite on top of a launcher with a failure rate much less than 100%. Astronauts are much easier and cheaper to replace.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803121)

Being able to do either -- with the same rocket -- is a win.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803375)

Well, SPaceX's F9 currently has the world's best record of 100% success (though one 2nd ary payload failed, but that was due to NASA not allowing a longer burn time). As such, I know that I would be happy to ride F9 up.
Heck, by the time that dragon rider launches next year with humans, F9 will have gone up more than 20 x. I think that it more then enough.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 6 months ago | (#46802329)

Some private company with a shitload of government backing does what we used to be able to do 40 years ago on our own

This is missing the point entirely. All of the past NASA rockets were also built by private companies with a shitload of government backing. Unlike those companies, SpaceX does not have a blank check; Musk's goal is to be both inexpensive and profitable. Maybe it won't work, but at least someone is trying for a change.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46803783)

This has nothing to do with Musk, you stupid fuck. NASA could have employed the engineers itself and done it at cost. But that wouldn't have satisfied the ideological imperative of corporatism.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46806047)

This has nothing to do with Musk, you stupid fuck. NASA could have employed the engineers itself and done it at cost. But that wouldn't have satisfied the ideological imperative of corporatism.

NASA did employ their engineers and tried to do it at cost.... plus a small profit for the companies they contracted to do the work. That is called a cost-plus contract BTW. What they ended up with was called Constellation and the Ares I. It flew precisely one time on a sub-orbital flight and was promptly cancelled because it was too expensive to fly even for government bureaucrats to admit to... after spending several billion dollars to get that program going.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 6 months ago | (#46802415)

Yeah. Because back in the 70s, NASA was landing rovers the size of SUVs on Mars. And had orbiters around Saturn. And probes in interstellar space. And a mission to Pluto. And...

Remind me, what did the Romans ever do for us again?

And not even ONE of them were launched by SpaceX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802497)

SpaceX hasn't managed a single flight without having mayor errors. 100% of their flight had either being a catastrophic failure or a partial failure. They haven't completed a single mission without failing one or two of their total tasks.

They no longer have a 90% rate of failure, but it still over 70% failure rate. Something that is unacceptable even under the lowest of standards.

Re:And not even ONE of them were launched by Space (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#46806067)

SpaceX hasn't managed a single flight without having mayor errors. 100% of their flight had either being a catastrophic failure or a partial failure. They haven't completed a single mission without failing one or two of their total tasks.

They no longer have a 90% rate of failure, but it still over 70% failure rate. Something that is unacceptable even under the lowest of standards.

How the hell do you calculate 70% failure rate for SpaceX? You ought to see how many Atlas rockets were fired before one even cleared the launch tower.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802511)

Because back in the 70s, NASA was landing rovers the size of SUVs on Mars

Viking landers [wikipedia.org]

And had orbiters around Saturn

Pioneer 11 [wikipedia.org]

And a mission to Pluto.

Voyager 1 could have been aimed on to Pluto, but exploration of Titan and the rings of Saturn was a primary scientific objective. This caused the trajectory to be diverted upward out of the ecliptic plane such that no further planetary encounters were possible for Voyager 1.

(JPL Voyager FAQ [nasa.gov] )

And probes in interstellar space

No, but let's not forget that the probes that are in interstellar space now were launched in the 1970s. The next comparable probe (New Horizons) wasn't launched until 2006. Quite a gap, no?

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 6 months ago | (#46802859)

Dude, he was being sarcastic

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803387)

why be sarcastic when the gnat was spot on? No reason to be.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803383)

The orbiters around sat, cassini, was launched in late 90's. The mission to pluto was launched in 2006. Curiosity it about the size of a VW bug, not an SUV.

BUT, these have costs BILLIONS. In order to sustain our exploration, we must lower the costs of this. SpaceX is about to do that. For example, red dragon will make it possible to put the largest lander on the planet, loaded with instruments.

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46803367)

Hmmm. in the next 12 months, SpaceX will have the world's largest launcher. They will launch 54 tonnes to LEO for less than 150 million. NO other launcher that carries more than 10 tonnes to LEO, costs under 200 million. AND, the next largest one, is Delta IV with less than 23 tonnes. In fact, it will be the world's 4th largest lifter.

In addition, SpaceX will also be launching 7 ppl into space, for less than what Russia charges to send 2 ppl.

SpaceX will in less than 2 years, be able to drop their prices by more than 1/3, which will stimulate their launch business by an easy doubling.

Finally, SpaceX has MCT being worked on, which according to them, will send up 150-200 tonnes to LEO for less than .5B, or less than what SLS costs.

And you do not think that is exciting. Really?

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46806155)

+1 Informative

Re:I just can't get excited about SpaceX (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 5 months ago | (#46805205)

AFAIK in 1972 we could launch a Saturn 5 to the moon. I think we regressed back to maybe the 1950s watching Soviet cosmonauts and wishing we could be up there.

Many years from now... (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 6 months ago | (#46802559)

What's this note on the air lock? What the - we were in! They didn't even bother to hail us! Frakkin' SpaceX, I'm sick of this shit!

.

Bf1rst post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46802879)

juggernaut either The0 de Raadt, one rotting corpse Woot!? more stable Have their moments downward spiral. toD get some eye Said. 'Screaming disturbing. If you
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