December 08, 2010

Dragon into Space and Back Again!

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes eagerly (perhaps too eagerly) brings us news that Space-X has successfully launched the cargo version of their their Dragon Capsule into orbit.

 Oh I SO do Want !

 Space-X  has developed both their their rocket and spaceship independently of NASA design houses with an eye to providing a commercial launch service. One of the customers they are hoping to get for both manned and unmanned versions of Dragon is, ironically, NASA who would like an alternative to Soyuz with which to supply the International Space Station.


Pete Zaitcev suggests that this means Space-X has sold out and should not be considered alt-space as they are making considerable efforts to play by NASA rules and get government contracts.

I tend to disagree. NASA is a customer and they are catering to that customers needs. IMHO they are right to try to get as big a share of that market as possible to improve their cash flow. The rocket and other kit is designed outside the usual NASA system. 

Your mileage may vary, so by all means, have at it in the comments. In the meantime, here is the video:


 Update: Added promotional image. Also, scientific babe is, of course, Misaka Mikoto, better know as a Certain Scientific Railgun.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:19 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 222 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I don't know how you can write "spaceship independently of NASA design houses" and then refer to my post... which quotes Elon proposing to prostitute SpaceX for Marshall Space Flight Center. There is no question that he proposes exact opposite to what you lauded, as long as NASA agrees to let him implement bigger rockets.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Thu Dec 16 20:49:54 2010 (9KseV)

2 Space-X is throwing their hat in the ring to design NASA a rocket.

I don't think this constitutes "prostituting".

NASA will be involved in things like gantry hose/pipe fitting requirements  and payload compatibility because they are the customer so the product they are buying will be built with them in mind.

Space X is designing the rocket to customer spec. This is customer service...and while prostitution certainly involves customer service, not all customer service is whoring oneself.

Having NASA say they want a rocket that can meet certain performance specs and be compatible with a particular payload seems much better than  NASA paying scads of taxpayer money doing design studies for cool and innovative architectures when they fully intended to simply give everything to rehashed shuttle parts from Rockwell and Thiokol.

There is no current commercial market for HLVs so the gubment is the only customer that Space-X can sell a rocket of this type to. NASA is a big part of the overall current launch market  in the near term as well.  It would be cash flow which is useful for things like paying engineers.

I just don't see this as selling out.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun Dec 19 05:21:18 2010 (EJaOX)

3 Elon proposed Marshall to oversee the effort and carry the responsibility for the design. How many rockets do geniuses from MSFC have to screw up for you to understand that it does not work how you imagine?

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sun Dec 19 18:16:24 2010 (9KseV)

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