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Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station

5/31/2012 04:58 PM EDT
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george.leopold
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
george.leopold   5/31/2012 6:00:54 PM
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On only its second return from orbit, SpaceX made the Dragon splashdown look easy. It even hit the water 10 minutes early. Next cargo mission to the space station could come as early as September. SpaceX now has a ton of data to sift through so that these cargo flights will eventually become routine. The big challenge now is making Dragon a safe, reliable way to get astronauts to the space station.

EREBUS0
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
EREBUS0   5/31/2012 8:05:17 PM
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Brings back memories of watch the early mercury, gemini and apollo launches in the sixties and seventies. Why NASA threw the plans for the Apollo and Saturn V away I will never know, nor forgive. Still, its nice to see the US return to space. Can't wait for the first manned mission. 1960's de ja vue.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
old account Frank Eory   5/31/2012 8:42:13 PM
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It really is an odd, nostalgic feeling to see a spacecraft splashdown in the ocean for the first time in almost 40 years.

Robotics Developer
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
Robotics Developer   5/31/2012 8:42:41 PM
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It makes me proud that the private space business has started and looks to be sustainable. Only with multiple successful missions will the dream really become a reality. I mourned the loss of NASA launch platform capacity and hope that we will once again, reach for the stars as a country.

george.leopold
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
george.leopold   5/31/2012 9:45:55 PM
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As LBJ said, we expended all that effort and treasure to get to the moon, then we "p---ed it away." Homer Hickam, who started his NASA career at the Marshall Spaceflight Center, told us that NASA literally destroyed the jigs and dies used to make the Saturn V rocket. What a waste. The good news is that SpaceX could still use an upgraded version of the Saturn V's second stage engine, the J2X, if and when it shifts to manned Dragon flights. So not all is lost.

george.leopold
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
george.leopold   5/31/2012 9:48:26 PM
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Yes, it reminded me of the Gemini and Apollo flights where they had to jettison the service module before conducting the de-orbit burn. SpaceX was right on target with its splashdown off the California coast, and Elon Musk was bragging at the post-flight press conference that they are so confident of their guidance system that they believe they can land Dragon in "someone's backyard."

george.leopold
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
george.leopold   5/31/2012 9:50:32 PM
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If NASA gets the funding it needs, the success of SpaceX will move the space agency closer to its goal of developing a heavy lift capacity so that we can again finally go somewhere in space.

docdivakar
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
docdivakar   6/1/2012 12:36:08 AM
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On a day like this, it is feels great to be an engineer! Hats off to the Dragon team. @Frank Eory: I hear you, I had only seen news reel videos (that were screened before the movies began in Indian theatres) of the Apollo program and this certainly brings back memories. I used to watch in wonder and awe when the Apollo crafts were plucked from the ocean and never knew that one day I would be living and working in a country that produced such great feats. MP Divakar

nicolas.mokhoff
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
nicolas.mokhoff   6/1/2012 1:48:05 AM
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I applaud this successful venture for two reasons. The first is that it has succeeded. The second is that it it is a good example of private/government cooperation. While Elon Musk needs to be commended so does NASA in becoming more of a partner with industry. Its Commercial Crew and Cargo program fits nicely with the SpaceX goals and tasks: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/home/

elPresidente
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re: Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
elPresidente   6/1/2012 6:09:46 AM
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Congratulations, America! You succeeded in repeating, today, a technology capability from 50 years ago. Retrorockets, parachutes, and splashdown, and all.

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