May 25, 2012

Historic Space X Launch and Docking With ISS

Space X has successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket and docked their Dragon cargo capsule at the International Space Station (ISS); a historic first for private space ventures, and a vital step towards launching cargo and crew without reliance on Russia.
Dragon Captured by ISS Robotic Arm
Space X Falcon 9 Rocket Launch
This successful launch and docking at ISS validates Falcon/Dragon as a capable system, and if all proceeds as planned, the first regular cargo delivery will occur later this year.

Last year, Coalition Director Art Harman asked Space X CEO Elon Musk to advance his development to launch astronauts within two years, in order to reduce risks from complete reliance on Russian rockets. Mr. Musk responded to the challenge with "two to three years." Mr. Musk further stated that the launch abort system was the final major system under development to allow for manned launches; and there were subsequent successful tests of that system.

If Mr. Musk can indeed meet that target, America's future in space--and our $100 billion investment in ISS will be more secure, as a Russian launch failure would no longer endanger the ability to keep astronauts onboard ISS.

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