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And my kudos to SpaceX for the Dragon docking!

May 30, 2012

So with all the travel this weekend, I completely forgot to offer my congratulations to SpaceX for the successful berthing of the Dragon cargo vehicle to the ISS on Friday! I was away from the computer a lot of the time and didn’t remember I hadn’t mentioned it. After all the talking I’ve done about the flight prior to the docking, I figured I had better say something!

I did get to watch the capture on the live NASA TV video stream on Friday morning before I left for Ohio. I have to say it was a lovely thing to see! And by the way, I’d like to recommend the web site Spaceflight Now for their excellent coverage of the mission, and of many others. If you want to keep up with what’s going on in space travel, US and others, that site is the place to go. They do a better job of collecting multimedia than anyone else I’ve seen as well.

Russian 1960s-technology Progress supply vehicle

Tomorrow the Dragon undocks and returns to Earth. That will also be a monumental first! The other unmanned supply craft – the ESA ATVs and the Russian Progress – can’t be brought down intact. With the shuttles being turned into museum exhibits, there is no way to return things to Earth from the ISS now except with the crew changes using the Soyuz, which still is a Gemini-era two-man vehicle modified to squeeze three men into it. Not much space for bringing things home. SpaceX is far ahead of all competitors right now.

 

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