Falcon 9 / Dragon Launch at 3:45AM EST (UPDATE: Success!)

UPDATE: They did it!!

For those of you awake right now, Spacex's Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon capsule will be launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida in less than an hour. If successful, this mission will see the first private spacecraft docking at the ISS. Check out the webcast and live text/video updates from SpaceFlightNow:

http://www.spacex.com/webcast/

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html

Dragon won't be docking with the ISS until Friday so don't wait up for it tonight. You'll see the Falcon 9 launch, taking just under 10 minutes to reach orbit at which point Dragon will separate from the second stage of the rocket. Depending on video Tx range, we may also get to see the solar arrays deploying (even the big guys have trouble with FPV!) After the video cuts out there should be a press conference discussing what happened and explaining any anomalies.

As a former SpaceX engineer, I'd be glad to answer any questions (on publicly available info) people have about the launch. Wish them luck!

Views: 865

Tags: 9, dragon, falcon, rocket, spacex

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 25, 2012 at 10:29am

Great achievement, for SpaceX!

However, I don't want to be cynical here, but nothing really new technologically has happened.

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 25, 2012 at 11:18am

Sure, but a rocket will always be a rocket.  Maybe more efficient, but essentially the same tech.  Nasa uses the ultimate in ablative nozzles.  After and during firing, they are ablated by 100%. ;-)

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 25, 2012 at 11:54am

Probably anti-gravity will never really be possible, in terms of removing the effects of gravity.  However, our current propulsion systems are never going to get us into outer space, due to inefficiency.  As long as we exchange momentum, by "throwing away" mass, we'll always have to carry massive amounts of fuel weight around.  We need to find some way of exchanging momentum without loosing mass, not anti-gravity.

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 25, 2012 at 12:23pm

Maybe we are looking at propulsion backwards.  Isn't force just the macroscopic effect of momentum/energy exchange at the quantum level, according to the Standard Model.  We really need to look at things from the point of view of exchanging momentum, rather than creating a force.

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