Falcon 9 Rises Again
Saturday February 20, SpaceX's Falcon 9 was once again erected at launch Complex 40, Kennedy Space Center. Preparations are being made for launch sometime in the next 1-3 months. With the cancellation of Constellation and the new emphasis on private space, this first flight will be crucial. If all goes well on this launch, a later flight will approach within 10 km of the International Space Station. A third flight will demonstrate rendezvous and docking. The next step will be for NASA to fund COTS-D, human-rating the Dragon spacecraft to carry crews.
There has been some resistance, even among astronauts, to flying on a privately developed spacecraft. The writer has heard NASA personnel complain that Dragon will have no controls (not true) or that the crew will not be able to fly the ship. How arrogant some "civil servants" can be. SpaceX may be the best hope for continued American access to orbit. Best wishes, Elon and crew!
From Australia, Astroblogger hosts the new Carnival of Space!