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:
VIDEO: From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry
What are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry that looks at patterns in military history.
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.