(Image Source: SpaceX)

 

BY LUKE LEONARD

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

Expectations for space exploration are sky high and beyond. The private space exploration company SpaceX is aiming to test launch it’s shuttle on April 30th. KPRC reports...

“NASA along with the private company SpaceX, is gearing up for a manned launch of it’s Dragon spacecraft later this month. Dragon will eventually meet up with the ISS.”

The International Space Station or ISS currently orbits earth. If successful, the Dragon shuttle will deliver supplies and equipment to the station, and on a much smaller budget.

The Canadian Space Agency composed this animation which shows how the SpaceX Dragon will dock via a robotic arm to the ISS.

Since its last shuttle launch in 2011, NASA has been looking to find other ways to get its astronauts to and from the ISS. A writer for Popular Mechanics says subsequently NASA has its hopes up for SpaceX’s success.

“NASA certainly has its fingers crossed for SpaceX ... because the agency’s need for a new way to get back and forth from the ISS is more urgent than ever. With the space shuttle’s retirement last year and NASA’s next-gen Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (formerly Orion) still years away from flight, NASA relies on Russian Soyuz rockets to bring crews up and down from the station.”

SpaceX CEO Elon *EE-lon Musk says there are plenty of things that could go wrong, and docking a spacecraft to a space station is no easy task. Voice of America has his quote.

"So you've got to launch up there, you've got to rendezvous and be tracking the space station to within inches really, and this is something that is going 12 times faster than a bullet from an assault rifle, so it's hard."

So what does all this mean for the future of space travel? Could we soon be sending astronauts out to explore Mars? National Geographic spoke to Robert Zubrin, the president of non-profit organisation Mars Society. He says that SpaceX’s progress is a significant step forward.

“They’ve been at this cargo thing for only three years or so, and now they are flying it … NASA started working on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle circa 2002, and it still hasn't flown. We can afford to send humans to Mars … Musk has shown us that we can do it, provided that we do it smart."

If the launch is successful, Dragon will dock to the ISS on May 3rd. The Dragon is designed to then depart the station and make a return to earth for reuse on future flights.
 

SpaceX Shuttle Aims to Launch April 30th

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Apr 19, 2012

SpaceX Shuttle Aims to Launch April 30th

(Image Source: SpaceX)

 

BY LUKE LEONARD

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

Expectations for space exploration are sky high and beyond. The private space exploration company SpaceX is aiming to test launch it’s shuttle on April 30th. KPRC reports...

“NASA along with the private company SpaceX, is gearing up for a manned launch of it’s Dragon spacecraft later this month. Dragon will eventually meet up with the ISS.”

The International Space Station or ISS currently orbits earth. If successful, the Dragon shuttle will deliver supplies and equipment to the station, and on a much smaller budget.

The Canadian Space Agency composed this animation which shows how the SpaceX Dragon will dock via a robotic arm to the ISS.

Since its last shuttle launch in 2011, NASA has been looking to find other ways to get its astronauts to and from the ISS. A writer for Popular Mechanics says subsequently NASA has its hopes up for SpaceX’s success.

“NASA certainly has its fingers crossed for SpaceX ... because the agency’s need for a new way to get back and forth from the ISS is more urgent than ever. With the space shuttle’s retirement last year and NASA’s next-gen Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (formerly Orion) still years away from flight, NASA relies on Russian Soyuz rockets to bring crews up and down from the station.”

SpaceX CEO Elon *EE-lon Musk says there are plenty of things that could go wrong, and docking a spacecraft to a space station is no easy task. Voice of America has his quote.

"So you've got to launch up there, you've got to rendezvous and be tracking the space station to within inches really, and this is something that is going 12 times faster than a bullet from an assault rifle, so it's hard."

So what does all this mean for the future of space travel? Could we soon be sending astronauts out to explore Mars? National Geographic spoke to Robert Zubrin, the president of non-profit organisation Mars Society. He says that SpaceX’s progress is a significant step forward.

“They’ve been at this cargo thing for only three years or so, and now they are flying it … NASA started working on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle circa 2002, and it still hasn't flown. We can afford to send humans to Mars … Musk has shown us that we can do it, provided that we do it smart."

If the launch is successful, Dragon will dock to the ISS on May 3rd. The Dragon is designed to then depart the station and make a return to earth for reuse on future flights.
 

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