Space Exploration Technologies’ (Spacex) Falcon 9 launch was a success. It will dock with ISS on 25th May. Meanwhile launch video has gone viral
SpaceX has made a history of sorts. The successful launch of its Falcon 9 rocket is being hailed as the beginning of a new chapter in the world of space exploration. Within a few days, when the rocket docks with International space Station, it will prove that it can now take supplies and astronauts to ISS.
The launch, its second attempt from Cape Canaveral, Fla., has been hailed by the scientific community as a new beginning for the space program in the US that had started slowing down after substantial federal funding cuts. Obama administration has not just proposed almost $1 trillion cut in defense budget over a course of next ten years, it has also been forced to cut funding for NASA and other scientific ventures in the country.
SpaceX has made strides in all fields concerning space and allied sciences. Earlier this year in February Space Exploration Technologies successfully test fired SuperDraco, a powerful new engine that will play a critical role in the company’s efforts to change the future of human spaceflight. The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines currently used by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to maneuver on orbit and during reentry. As part of SpaceX’s state-of-the-art launch escape system, eight SuperDraco engines built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety should an emergency occur during launch.
In the meantime, the Dragon capsule is headed towards the International Space Station and once it reaches the ISS, the next big step will be to dock with it. It is not an easy step and will involve minute maneuvering by the capsule and ISS.
Elon Musk, the cofounder of PayPal and the SpaceX CEO who was very happy following the liftoff in its only second attempt said, “We obviously have to go through a number of steps to berth with the space station, but everything is looking really good, and I think I would count today as a success no matter what happens with the rest of the mission”. He is not alone in rejoicing the launch of the rocket, others too are ecstatic and credit him for what has been made possible. Tom Choi a top official of ABS while heaping praise on Elon Musk says, “Together with Satmex, our co-launch partner, we embark upon an innovative prospect of dual launching four medium-powered satellites on two launches on the Falcon 9. We are extremely happy to be working with Satmex and SpaceX to dramatically realign the cost structure of space access in order to bring the affordable capacity demanded by our customers.” Others say that the development is going to be a crucial factor in keeping the US space exploration continue without NASA having its own spaceship.