Capture at 9:56 a.m. EDT over Australia! Space Station Flight engineer Don Pettit joked that it was a pretty easy sim and that he was ready to do it for real!
It is truly remarkable that SpaceX and NASA pulled this off on the first try.
The technology involved here is hardly state of the art. The Merlin main engines are based on a NASA design from the 1980s called Fastrac. NASA wasn't using that engine design, so it makes little sense to sit on it. What you miss here is that SpaceX is bringing a new way of doing business to space exploration. Launch costs were $10K/pound with the shuttle. That's unsustainable. If NASA can seed a commercial industry that can get launch costs down to $1K/pound, then you have a business. The larger question is how do you improve the key metric for rocket technology: specific impulse. Such an improvement represents the kind of valuable IP you keep bringing up.
NASA did a damn good job of transfering US IPs to spaceX here !!! for Free?
Can you imagine Elon Co. did all this from scratch? I bet their logo is self developed, how about all the control, engine, connection...
NASA got to open it's door and let Elon pick whatever it want ...
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.