Today’s been a bit exciting so there’s going to be a stream of posts coming out over the next few hours.
Firstly I want to go over the SpaceX launch today. Frankly what is happening now is History, for the first time a private company has a fully functioning capsule orbiting the earth and at time of writing the re-entry procedures will be playing out for a scheduled De-Orbit Burn at 1815GMT.
The Launch is an “All up” test of the Falcon 9 rocket with a dragon capsule attached. The capsule when fully developed will be able to carry a crew of 7 into LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and will be able to deliver a wide variety of cargo to the ISS and any other platform that ends up in orbit in the future. This flight is part of the COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Service) programme of which SpaceX along with Orbital sciences are the main companies. The plan is to hand over responsibility of LEO operations to private companies while NASA get back to their roots and go off on merry travels to Mars and Asteroids.
This test follows up from a static fire test on Saturday and the first attempt aiming at a 9:06AM EST launch was aborted after an OI fault. However the launch was recycled and the Falcon soared into the clear Florida sky at 10:43am today.
I’ll post a more in depth article one the Dragon lands later today and will keep updating as the evaluations roll in.
No matter what the outcome SpaceX has managed another important milestone and I wish them the best of luck in the future