SpaceX Dragon blazes a new path

2012-05-31 19:50
SpaceX Dragon landing

SpaceX Dragon landing (SpaceX)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - US company SpaceX's cargo vessel on Thursday splash-landed in the Pacific Ocean, capping a successful mission to the International Space Station and blazing a new path for private spaceflight.

"Splashdown successful!!" South African born SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said in a message on the microblogging site Twitter after the unmanned capsule landed in the waters off the Mexican coast at 11:42 Eastern time (15:42 GMT).

Recovery vessels were headed toward the vessel, which drifted down with the aid of three massive red and white parachutes near its target of 900km off Baja, California, Nasa said.

"Splashdown! SpaceX Dragon capsule safely down in Pacific Ocean - ending first mission by a commercial company to resupply the ISS," Nasa said on Twitter.

The safe return of the vessel followed a near flawless mission to deliver cargo to the $100bn orbiting outpost, marking the first time a commercial outfit has sent its own capsule there and back.

Nasa and US leaders have applauded the mission as a pioneering first step in the future of spaceflight, opening the path for private companies to take cargo and someday astronauts to the ISS.

The end of the three-decade US space shuttle programme in 2011 left the United States without a means to reach space on its own, and has forced the world's astronauts to rely on Russia for rides to the ISS and back to Earth.

Japan and Europe also have cargo ships that can reach the space lab but cannot return cargo intact. SpaceX's cargo ship is larger than Russia's Soyuz capsules and is capable of bringing back more gear.

Pretoria

The white Dragon capsule stands 4.4m high and is 3.66m in diameter. It could carry as much as 3 310kg, split between pressurised cargo in the capsule and unpressurised cargo in the trunk.

SpaceX, owned by billionaire internet entrepreneur and Pretoria Boys High matriculant Musk, says it aims to begin taking people to the space station by 2015.

SpaceX and its competitor Orbital Sciences Corporation, both of which have received funding from Nasa, will probably become the chief cargo servicers of the space station, which is set to remain operational until 2020, Nasa has said.

SpaceX has a $1.6bn contract with Nasa to supply the station over the coming years, and Orbital Sciences has a $1.9bn contract to do the same. Orbital's first test flight is scheduled for later this year.

The cargo ship launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on May 22 with 521kg of gear for the space lab, including food, supplies, computers, utilities and science experiments and is returning a 660kg load to Earth.

After it is recovered in the ocean, the Dragon will then be transported to Texas so that its cargo can be returned to Nasa.

A Nasa press conference is scheduled for 18:00 GMT to discuss more details on the mission.

- SAPA
Read more on:    spacex  |  elon musk  |  us  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.