"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Space X launched today...

A Space X Falcon 9 rocket was launched into space today. Its mission ---to carry a Dragon cargo capsule to the ISS. It is historic, because it is the first commercially based rocket launch.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off.

"We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated. While there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are off to a good start."

According to NASA today, Space X, short for Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, Calif., proceeded through a flawless countdown. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 3:44 a.m. EDT, just as the station was crossing 249 miles above the North Atlantic.

I am extremely excited to see us have the ability once again to send cargo to the ISS, but somewhat melancholy over the fact that it lacks the NASA tradition. I am still hoping that this means "better and more innovative". It is just that I grew up in an era and watched with anticipation each launch that made our country great and a world leader.

The cargo is 1200 pounds of supplies (mostly food and clothing) for the astronauts on board the ISS and experiments designed by students. Now, that is exciting.!!!! These experiments were submitted by students through a contest to have student experiments take place in microgravity. Talk about a real world laboratory.

Dragon capsule is lifted.
The Dragon Cargo Capsule

It is an uncrewed vessel that will be connected to the ISS via the robotic arm. It is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Friday, remain there for three weeks, before being reloaded with supplies to come home.

Just writing about it gets me excited. I have to let myself move beyond the past... to look to the future.

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