American Free enterprise picks up where NASA left off and ships cargo to the International Space Station:
At 9:56 AM Eastern this morning, astronaut Donald Pettit coaxed the International Space Station’s gangly robotic arm into grabbing the unmanned Dragon capsule, marking the first time a private spacecraft has docked with the station.
“Looks like we’ve got a Dragon by the tail,” Pettit said.
The move elicited plenty of hugs and handshakes both at NASA’s mission control facility as well as SpaceX’s operations center in Hawthorne, California. That initial burst of elation has passed though, and for the past hour the astronauts aboard the space station and their ground crews have buckled down to get some more work done.
That historical grapple maneuver was only the first part of the process. Over the next few hours, the Dragon capsule will be manipulated and berthed along the station’s Harmony module. From there, power and data cables will be connected up to the capsule, and the crew will begin the process of unloading nearly 1,000 pounds of consumables and clothing.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule is actually designed to handle more than 13,000 lbs of cargo, but as this was basically a test flight prior to their contracted 12 additional cargo flights over the next couple of years.
This is a “Big F’in Deal” years in the making, and NASA not having any self-delivery capabilities with the loss of the Shuttle program makes it all the more important the US finds another way to stay in the game.
Bill Whittle made a video last year that didn’t get a lot of views, but in making it he tells the story of NASA’s slow fade to irrelevance from it’s former glory with Obama’s cancellation of the Constellation program, and the hope of having a free enterprise system that can still come through if government will only get out of the way.
NASA may have lost its way, but out under the radar America has a bold, imaginative, successful and efficient Private Space Age starting to bloom. Find out what’s wrong with the current state of big-government, manned space exploration, how to fix it, and what private property is actually flying in space above your heads RIGHT NOW.
- Space station astronauts enter SpaceX supply ship (ctv.ca)
- [Video] ISS Astronauts Climb Aboard the SpaceX Dragon Capsule (readwriteweb.com)
- SpaceX Dragon supply capsule receives astronauts on board (abclocal.go.com)
- ISS astronauts open SpaceX Dragon capsule (news.com.au)