Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

SpaceX Ready to Launch Bigelow BEAM Module to ISS for NASA

SpaceX’s eighth operational commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX CRS-8 (or SpX-8), is on track for launch tomorrow at 4:43 pm ET from Cape Canaveral, FL.  The weather is 90 percent favorable.  Among the 7,000 pounds of supplies, equipment and experiments in its Dragon capsule is the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) developed by Bigelow Aerospace in partnership with NASA.

SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9 first stage on one of its autonomous drone ships out at sea.  It has attempted such landings four times so far without success.  Its one successful return was back at Cape Canaveral on land.   SpaceX Vice President Hans Koenigsman explained today that the decision on whether to land at sea or on terra firma depends on the trajectory needed for a particular mission and an ocean landing is needed in this case.  Eventually, the company hopes to be able to return one-third to one-half of its rockets to land as part of its goal to have reusable rockets.  Only one reusable rocket system has been successfully developed to date — NASA’s space shuttle.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.spacepolicyonline.com

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