Friday, June 6, 2008

Various Pieces of SpaceX News

Well, SpaceX came out with a couple of press releases in the past few days, one of which is indirectly related to space tourism, so I thought I'd summarize them here.

The first item is that NASA has awarded a launch services contract to SpaceX. This contract calls for SpaceX to provide launch services to NASA for four years with its Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets. The quantity and dates of these launches has yet to be determined, but we will undoubtedly see SpaceX's launch schedule change due to this development.

The second (and to me, more exciting) development is that SpaceX has successfully completed its first five-engine test of the Falcon 9 rocket. The test was performed in a cross formation, much like the Saturn V rockets. This is the last step in the test schedule before the testing of the full compliment of 9 engines. The first Falcon 9 rocket will be delivered to Cape Canaveral toward the end of this year, and it will be responsible for launching heavy satellites, the manned Dragon capsule currently in development, and a payload for Bigelow Aerospace in a couple of years that is thought to be its Sundancer space hotel prototype.

Oh, and here's a picture of cool fiery rockets! Credit SpaceX.

Progress: 3.73%  Flight Time: 0:05:35

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