SpaceX to launch Dragon capsule December 7

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Dec. 3 2010 10:26 AM

SpaceX to launch Dragon capsule December 7

[UPDATE (December 8, 9:00 MT): The rocket launched! It was a perfect throw to space, and the Dragon space capsule was successfully deployed in orbit.]

[NOTE: SpaceX is webcasting their static engine firing of the Falcon 9 at about 12: 45 ET today! These are very exciting and worth watching.]

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


[Update: The static firing went pretty well, looks like. However, the Shuttle's not as healthy: NASA has announced the launch of Discovery has been delayed to around February 3, to give them time to investigate the cracks in the external fuel tank more carefully.]

spacex_dragonNASA has announced that the private company SpaceX will launch their second Falcon 9 rocket on December 7. This time, the Dragon space capsule will be on top of the stack! The plan is to get it into space, and then de-orbit it. If this works, it will be the first time a commercial company will have ever done this. The launch window runs from 09:03 to 12:22 EST, and if the launch is delayed the same time window exists for December 8 and 9.

The launch will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

This will be the first launch in NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation System, where NASA partners with private companies to transport crew and supplies to space. Personally, I love this idea. As I've said before (scroll down to #2 of My opinion on the new space policy), let private companies do the routine deliveries, and let NASA always keep looking ahead to what's next.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.