SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Private Cargo Rocket Heads to Space Station
from the New York Times (Registration Required)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A private cargo rocket headed to the International Space Station blasted off early Tuesday morning. Built by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif.--commonly known as SpaceX--this rocket is carrying only about 1,000 pounds of cargo, and nothing of great value. The importance is instead technical and symbolic.
If the cargo capsule makes it all the way to the space station, it would be the first commercial, rather than government-operated, spacecraft to dock at the space station, and it would mark an important step in NASA's efforts to turn over basic transportation to low-Earth orbit to the private sector.
With success of this flight, SpaceX would begin a $1.6 billion contract to fly 12 cargo missions to the space station. This SpaceX launching followed the same pattern of two earlier ones where a last-minute glitch halted the countdown on the first try and then the rocket went off without a hitch on the second try. In an aborted liftoff on Saturday morning, the nine engines of the 157-foot tall Falcon 9 rocket had already ignited before computers shut them down because of high pressure in the combustion chamber of the center engine.
Connect With Us:
PODCAST & VIDEO: Engineering Around Extreme Events
Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.