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Space X Falcon 5 Dragon Rocket lift off – Another Success for Elon Musk

Congratulations to Elon Musk for a successful and historic lift off carrying 1,000 pounds of needed supplies for the International Space Station. The Space X Falcon 5 Dragon Rocket lit up the eastern skyline with it’s rocket engines rapidly burning bright I observed tonight from Orlando some 60 miles away. Space X partnership with NASA has allowed the U.S. to regain control in utilizing domestic and now private resources since retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet. Another demonstration of cutting edge technology making itself known to the world along with Telsa Motors S Model (mine being built now) both pioneered by Elon.

Here's something to contemplate. If a meteor were to damage the life support systems in such a way that the 6 astronauts aboard would have to evacuate within a few days, which agency/nation/other launch facility could get a vehicle up in time to rescue them? Even ignoring every safety guideline, etc., no one on the planet. Except SpaceX (Elon once responded to such a question in the affirmative). No nation even has a vehicle able to carry 6 at once.

And no vehicle except Dragon could subsequently carry a repair crew to the neighborhood and allow EVAs and then repressurize and return to Earth.

The systems to do these things are not certified, yet, but that's about 75% a bureaucratic issue.

PS;
Above assumes an F9 is assembled or nearly so; every Dragon can be reused.

I hadn't thought about it that way, but so true. As a result, Space X is becoming more valuable to the U.S. and NASA while reducing the cost of trips to space. Elon Musk's vision for the future (including planetary visits) has filled an important void in the high tech cutting edge transportation industry on our roadways and now in space. It will be interesting to see what Space X technologies if any might be shared with future Tesla EVs ie navigation, communications etc.

I think it goes beyond US. SpaceX is a company, not agency or nation ans as such is a lot more flexible than traditional space agencies in their operations.

If they want they can sell their product to other countries as well, and even launch their vehicles pretty much wherever they want. AFAIK there is no reason why SpaceX Dragon and Falcon could not be used to launch some ESA, Chinese etc. equipment into orbit, fix and maybe retrieve failing satellites etc.

It speeds things up. Much less governmental baggage involved.

Inspect their manifest; they have many international clients already, both commercial and governmental. http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

I think they are in the cat-bird seat as far as getting new clients. E.g. Was just listening to NASA's Web Telescope rundown. They will launch on the Ariane 5 in 2018. The speaker was wishing there was more room in the telescope launch capsule. If they'd had the upcoming Falcon Heavy, they'd have had about 50-100% more mass allowance, and the 'trunk' volume can be expanded to suit.

And the cost would have been reduced by 40-70%.

Space X as Tesla offers it's products internationally. But I got to believe that they are careful not to transport to space questionable cargo from a country or company just because they can pay the cost. ie non-US friendly spy satellites, or any sort of weapons. Although they may not need US permission legally speaking, I think Space X is smart to carefully predetermine about who they do business with if they feel any transported product would have a negative global impact which is consistent with their philosphy. I wander if US govt asks them to consider US national security prior to agreeing to transport certain items from other non-US friendly inquiring parties? Or do they take a non-geopolitical perspective in their decision?

I doubt any hostile gov't would entrust such a launch to a US company.

You are probably right.


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