APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May 23)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May 23)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed May 23, 2012 4:11 am

Image SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space Station

Explanation: This fire-breathing Dragon can fly. Pictured above yesterday, SpaceX Corporation's Falcon 9 rocket capped with a Dragon spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The successful launch was significant not only because it demonstrated that a private company has the ability to re-supply the International Space Station (ISS), but also that spaceflight has taken a significant step away from being an endeavor that only big governments can do with public money. If all continues as planned, the robotic Dragon will dock with the ISS this weekend. Over the next two weeks, the ISS Expedition 31 crew will then unload Dragon and refill it with used scientific equipment. In about three weeks, the ISS's robotic arm will then undock Dragon and move it to where it can fire its rockets. Soon thereafter the Dragon capsule is expected to reenter the Earth's atmosphere, deploy its parachutes, splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, and be recovered.

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by bystander » Wed May 23, 2012 4:18 am

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Beyond » Wed May 23, 2012 4:23 am

To me, it seems to get off to a slower start than the shuttles did, but maybe i'm just comparing watermellons to oranges. I do like the 2nd Dragon link.
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by kjardine » Wed May 23, 2012 6:39 am

spaceflight has taken a significant step away from being an endeavor that only big governments can do with public money
I'm a bit puzzled here. Surely this is all paid for with public money? It seems to me highly unlikely that a private company would ever pay for something like the ISS.

Has it not always been the case that private companies have designed and built the spacecraft and rockets? And the launch was at Cape Canaveral as usual. So this seems to be more a rebranding exercise. Instead of NASA's Space Shuttle built by Boeing, this is SpaceX's Dragon built by SpaceX. But the money comes from taxes as always.

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by saturno2 » Wed May 23, 2012 10:36 am

Dragon spacecraft fly to the I S S
The I S S is the product of work and international money.
I think to travel to other planets should to be same: work and international money

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by orin stepanek » Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 am

I like the idea of the private sector delivering payloads to the ISS! I'm sure they get paid for services rendered! :wink: 8-)
Now this is a fearful dragon! :lol2: :wink:
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by starstruck » Wed May 23, 2012 1:15 pm

I wish the mission every success. I always get a blast from seeing a rocket launch :P and because this is testing a new vehicle, it is quite exciting. Good luck to the Dragon!

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by NomadWanderer » Wed May 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Any Chance when movies are posted on aPod, we could get an alternate image that is at least a tiny bit space related? I have a giant monitor/tv setup in my office, and it's wonderful to have new space images on it every day... but it suddenly turning into a giant cat head/dog/something else, isn't what I was looking for..

Or is there a different app that does stay 'true' to the space _Picture_ part (and able to be used for desktops) that I should be using instead?

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 23, 2012 2:18 pm

kjardine wrote:I'm a bit puzzled here. Surely this is all paid for with public money? It seems to me highly unlikely that a private company would ever pay for something like the ISS.

Has it not always been the case that private companies have designed and built the spacecraft and rockets? And the launch was at Cape Canaveral as usual. So this seems to be more a rebranding exercise. Instead of NASA's Space Shuttle built by Boeing, this is SpaceX's Dragon built by SpaceX. But the money comes from taxes as always.
Of course, if the government contracts for a launch, it pays the company. But this company is using private funds to develop its rockets. In the past, the development of rockets was paid for by the government. The private companies that were involved, like Lockheed or Boeing, were operating as government contractors. SpaceX is not.

In the case of rocket technology owned by the government, there was no requirement to generate a profit from launch activities. SpaceX will fail if it can't operate profitably.
Chris

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by owlice » Wed May 23, 2012 2:24 pm

NomadWanderer, it sounds like you are using the automatic background software to have the APOD image downloaded to your desktop every day. If the image is a video, the software grabs the first still image it comes across from the APOD text.

If there's another app out there that serves the same purpose but doesn't give you the occasional train wreck or cat on video days, I am unaware of it.
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by NomadWanderer » Wed May 23, 2012 2:30 pm

It happens rarely enough that I haven't considered dropping the desktop app.. right now the correct pictures it does deliver are great enough that they outweigh the few times it doesn't. But thought I would ask anyway.

Thanks again

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by neufer » Wed May 23, 2012 3:49 pm

kjardine wrote:
spaceflight has taken a significant step away from being an endeavor that only big governments can do with public money
I'm a bit puzzled here. Surely this is all paid for with public money? It seems to me highly unlikely that a private company would ever pay for something like the ISS. Has it not always been the case that private companies have designed and built the spacecraft and rockets? And the launch was at Cape Canaveral as usual. So this seems to be more a rebranding exercise. Instead of NASA's Space Shuttle built by Boeing, this is SpaceX's Dragon built by SpaceX. But the money comes from taxes as always.
The president flies around on specially ordered and highly modified versions of Boeing's 747-200B that are exclusively owned and operated by the U.S. Government. It would be much cheaper (though somewhat less safe) if he flew on Boeing 747's that are operated commercially. (And don't call me Shirley!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_VC-25 wrote:

<<The Boeing VC-25 is the designation of a United States Air Force passenger transportation aircraft, a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner. The A-model (VC-25A) is the only variant of the VC-25. The VC-25 is most famous for its role as Air Force One, the call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The two aircraft currently in U.S. service are highly modified versions of Boeing's 747-200B, with tail numbers 28000 and 29000. Although the Air Force One designation technically applies to the aircraft only while the President is aboard, the term is commonly applied to the VC-25s more generally. They often operate in conjunction with Marine One helicopters that ferry the President to airports in circumstances where a vehicle motorcade would be inappropriate.

Air Force One usually does not have fighter aircraft to escort the presidential aircraft over the United States, but this has occurred. In June 1974, while President Nixon was on his way to a scheduled stop in Syria, Syrian fighter jets intercepted Air Force One to act as escorts. However, the Air Force One crew was not informed in advance and, as a result, took evasive action including a dive.

The VC-25As are expected to be replaced, as they have become less cost-effective to operate. The USAF Air Mobility Command has been charged with looking into possible replacements, including the new Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A380. On 7 January 2009, the Air Force Materiel Command issued a new requirement for a replacement aircraft to enter service beginning in 2017. On 28 January 2009, EADS announced they would not bid on the program, leaving Boeing the sole bidder, with either their Boeing 747–8 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner being proposed.>>
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Irishman » Wed May 23, 2012 3:52 pm

Oddly, I am not getting the actual picture (or video) today on the APOD page. I get the APOD page and all text, but no image.

I followed the first link and saw the video launch, but the main page is missing something. Is this on your end or mine?

tmo

Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by tmo » Wed May 23, 2012 5:23 pm

Irishman wrote:Oddly, I am not getting the actual picture (or video) today on the APOD page. I get the APOD page and all text, but no image.

I followed the first link and saw the video launch, but the main page is missing something. Is this on your end or mine?
Same here... :(

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Wed May 23, 2012 5:25 pm

Best wishes to SpaceX for a successful flight to and from the ISS. It is remarkably ambitious to test all the different systems on one full cargo flight, rather than having a half-dozen test flights to check one system at a time. I heard an interview with Elon Musk on NPR last week, and he sounds very smart, practical, and with a thoughtful sense of humor. It seems like a worthy goal to develop private spacecraft to support the ISS, launch satellites, and possibly advance human space exploration. Suborbital space tourism a la Virgin Galactic, however, seems like a tremendous waste of resources and greenhouse gases.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Guest » Wed May 23, 2012 5:27 pm

tmo wrote:
Irishman wrote:Oddly, I am not getting the actual picture (or video) today on the APOD page. I get the APOD page and all text, but no image.

I followed the first link and saw the video launch, but the main page is missing something. Is this on your end or mine?
Same here... :(
Damn... answered too quick. And damn, the solution is so simple: Todays APOD need js for vmixcore.com, so if you have some js-Blocker like NoScript installed, grant execution of js for vmixcore.com and you'll see picture and video as usual.

:)

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed May 23, 2012 6:04 pm

owlice wrote:NomadWanderer, it sounds like you are using the automatic background software to have the APOD image downloaded to your desktop every day. If the image is a video, the software grabs the first still image it comes across from the APOD text.

If there's another app out there that serves the same purpose but doesn't give you the occasional train wreck or cat on video days, I am unaware of it.
Perhaps this could be avoided if the First Image linked in the APOD text was that of a screen capture of the movie that is the APOD

Like This dramatic image

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by ta152h0 » Wed May 23, 2012 6:27 pm

maybe someday private industry will discover rocketcams...specially when performing a prototype flight.
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by NomadWanderer » Wed May 23, 2012 7:08 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:
owlice wrote:NomadWanderer, it sounds like you are using the automatic background software to have the APOD image downloaded to your desktop every day. If the image is a video, the software grabs the first still image it comes across from the APOD text.

If there's another app out there that serves the same purpose but doesn't give you the occasional train wreck or cat on video days, I am unaware of it.
Perhaps this could be avoided if the First Image linked in the APOD text was that of a screen capture of the movie that is the APOD

Like This dramatic image
Nothing against giant cat heads, but that image would have been much better... How does your 'simple sounding' solution get to the right people?

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed May 23, 2012 7:24 pm

They probably read this board (hopefully) and it is already there...
Or...Good Question

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Moonlady » Wed May 23, 2012 9:55 pm

Hunt the dragon!

And look up for more!

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|38348

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by bystander » Wed May 23, 2012 10:32 pm

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by Mactavish » Thu May 24, 2012 12:29 am

neufer wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_VC-25 wrote:
Air Force One usually does not have fighter aircraft to escort the presidential aircraft over the United States, but this has occurred. In June 1974, while President Nixon was on his way to a scheduled stop in Syria, Syrian fighter jets intercepted Air Force One to act as escorts. However, the Air Force One crew was not informed in advance and, as a result, took evasive action including a dive.


Indeed, Tricky Dick took a dive. Shirley you remember that.

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Re: APOD: SpaceXs Dragon Launches to the Space... (2012 May

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu May 24, 2012 5:05 pm

I do remember that and don't call me Shirley

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Musk's Monsters of the Ego

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:55 pm

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20130818,0,2474072.column wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Elon Musk's Hyperloop: A pipe dream?
By Michael Hiltzik, L.A. Times, August 16, 2013

<<If you've been a sentient creature during the last week, you've heard something about the Hyperloop. The proposed transit system would carry 6 million passengers per year between Los Angeles and San Francisco at astonishingly minimal cost and speeds high enough to reduce the trip to 35 minutes. It's the brainchild of electric-car and spaceflight entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is irked that nothing better exists to meet his commuting needs between those two metropolises. But as often happens when talented hard-chargers pursue their personal dreams, he may be answering the wrong question.

The Hyperloop has garnered scads of fawning publicity since Musk unveiled a 57-page outline last week. So has Musk, which may be the point. He's being praised for Big-Idea thinking, for discarding those 19th and 20th century transport technologies (cars, trains) to come up with something worthy of the 21st. He's lauded especially for proposing a way to circumvent the grubby regional politics that have ballooned the cost of the current answer to the L.A.-S.F. transport riddle, California's high-speed rail project, to $68 billion.

To hear Musk tell it, a suitable mass transit system would have to be safer, faster, cheaper, more convenient and more earthquake resistant than the alternatives of planes, cars and trains. The Hyperloop, he says, is "the right solution." It's curious that he comes to that conclusion, because judging from his own proposal, the Hyperloop would be none of those things. There's no evidence that it would be cheaper than the high-speed rail project, and reason to believe it would cost more; it certainly couldn't be built for the $6-billion price tag Musk claims. As for the real issues of politics and technology that Musk waves away, in the real world they don't go away quietly.

The Hyperloop has two things going for it: the notion of going between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a half-hour in capsules propelled on cushions of air, which sounds awfully snazzy; and the fact that Elon Musk proposed it. But it's not clear that the first is an especially pressing need, except for people like Elon Musk. As for Musk himself, he's a serial entrepreneur with an impressive record that includes PayPal, the electric-car company Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, a space launch company. But whether his skill at synthesizing existing technologies into new businesses in those fields translates into solving a problem of public infrastructure on this scale is unproven. One hint that he may be playing outside his comfort zone comes from his description of the Hyperloop as a "cross between Concorde, a rail gun and an air hockey table." Concorde? The Anglo-French supersonic jet took some 20 years to get off the drawing boards. It came in at 15 times its original cost estimates, couldn't carry enough passengers to operate profitably and was mothballed after a catastrophic crash in 2000 underscored its myriad technological flaws. If that's the model for the Hyperloop, I'll stay home, thanks.

There's something mischievous about Musk's Hyperloop. He says it's not something he'd be willing to build himself, which raises the question of who he thinks should build it, and how the economics would change if it were a public project rather than the blue-sky musing of a Silicon Valley billionaire. There's no discussion in Musk's paper of the operation and maintenance cost of a system that will have to maintain low pressure in a 700-mile pneumatic tube at all times, or of the cost of security to keep ill-doers or vandals from damaging the tube, which would be suspended on overhead pylons for most of the route. That's a more important issue than it is for an open rail line; the physical tolerances for a closed-loop system carrying hundreds or thousands of passengers at a time in capsules at 700 mph are so tight that any breach, or even a dent, could spell disaster. Musk's paper is festooned with magic asterisks to cover many existing engineering questions. "This is where things get tricky," he writes at one point. The result is a plan with a veneer of just enough detail — graphs, maps, mathematical equations and all that jazz — to impress news pundits, so they don't notice the murkiness under the surface.

There's no question that seemingly insurmountable technical challenges often can be solved, given time and money. But the time can be a century and the money trillions. So the question becomes: should they be solved, or should other alternatives be examined? That's the truly important question the Hyperloop doesn't address. Indeed, one of the flaws in the high-speed rail project that the Hyperloop replicates is that no one has a very good idea of the real demand for service on that corridor. "We know very little about transit patterns within the state," says David Brownstone, an expert on transportation economics at UC Irvine. "It would be nice if we slowed down and tried to figure out how many people are traveling from point A to point B." Then there's the question of how to get passengers to their destinations once they reach the terminus. That's less of a problem in the Bay Area than the Southland, but there is as yet no solution to moving people en masse from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica, Irvine, or LAX.

Musk's paper treats the need for some rapid transit service between L.A. and San Francisco as a given, but that question has never received the debate it deserves. "Give me $68 billion and I can solve a lot of problems in California that are more pressing — secondary and primary education, prison overcrowding, pollution," says C. William Ibbs, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley. "I'm not sure that giving highly paid professionals a transportation subsidy is the best use."

None of this is to say that Musk did wrong in putting a futuristic mass transit plan on the table. Only that this particular plan is so narrow and self-interested that one wonders why he took the time. If he's got that much energy and creativity to spare, it would be great to see him try to solve a public crisis that's really important.>>
Art Neuendorffer