US company SpaceX puts America back in space

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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.

Crossposted to A Tow Dog

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Erick Brockway
Work seven days a week at two jobs, a newly RETIRED EO1 (E6) in the Navy Reserves (Seabees), blog when I can from cellphone and computer. @erickbrockway #catcot #tcot

Currently living in Camarillo, CA, about 45 miles North of LA. I have a wife (20+ years) son, and two daughters.

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EastBayLarry
May 27, 2012 10:28 am

This is a great example of how Free Enterprise can succeed when the nanny-state government gets out of the way.

Anybody want to bet whether Obama takes credit for this?

E Pluribus Unum
Admin
May 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Seems NASA’s new mission of making Islamic barbarians feel more self-esteem is quite a busy and time-consuming one. Fortunately the free market is there to take care of jobs the government won’t do.

LadyImpactOhio
May 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Ok Brockway where is this shot from? I have been to Cape Kennedy and the place is massive. How and where can private companies build a shoot off place for a spacecraft to even get out of the earth’s orbit?