back to article SpaceX's Falcon places Dragon in desired orbit

Dotcom space cowboy Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon rocket and Dragon orbiter on the first of twelve missions that will deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station. The craft soared skywards at around 00:35AM GMT on Monday, October 7. NASA provided the video below. Watch Video var …

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  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Go Dragon!

    Ok, so it's JAST. (Just Another Space Truck(tm))

    ...But it's still exciting!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Chicken Licken

      'Oh no, the sky is about to fall on my head, I must go and tell the King'.

      Idiot says Turkey Lurkey,' it's an out of control Space X capsule full of space turd, duck.....'

      'Did someone call my na......." Started Ducky Lucky to Drakey Lakey.

      Poor Ducky Lucky he just didn't see it coming.

  2. Kharkov
    Angel

    Oh it's so exciting... now, but in ten years this'll be routine & boring.

    Oh, I guess that's what a process revolution looks like. Exciting & weird at first, and then later you can't imagine doing it any other way (Insert sex joke here).

    Of course, NASA is making a rod for their own backs - next year, people will be asking, "Why didn't you start doing this years ago?"

    Still, Go SpaceX! Let's be happy there's a company willing to offer cheap access to orbit.

    And it's gonna get cheaper...

  3. Goat Jam
    FAIL

    Drat, got to the launch video at T+5

    Got to see the motor cutoff live though . . . .

    <- The FAIL is for me

  4. Poor Coco
    Thumb Up

    Great work, SpaceX!

    Nice launch.

  5. AlexS
    FAIL

    The thing about posting a story with a live feed is knowing WHEN TO TAKE IT DOWN as well as knowing WHEN TO PUT IT UP. Looks like the rocket launched ages ago when I visited.

    Love otherwise.

    1. Simon_Sharwood_Reg_APAC_Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Alex,

      we got the post-launch launch video up as soon as we could find and process it. FWIW the NASA embed code didn't play nicely with our CMS, so the few minutes it took to get it into YouTube (NASA offered a download link) added to the amount of time required to get you the best possible content after the launch.

  6. Kharkov
    Devil

    Well that was exciting - ok, now I'm bored.

    When's the next one?

    [snark off]

    Seriously though, it'd be nice to get an update or new story with all the details. For example, this is the first time they've gotten an F9 away on schedule. No holds, no scrubs, no delays, it launched on schedule.

    So what about the manned Dragon capsule, the SuperDraco engines, the work (which has started) on the Grasshopper?

    And of course, what about the Antares rocket (from what I've read it seems to cost 180 million per launch, 50% more than SpaceX), the Atlas V with Dream Chaser, the whole private-supply-to-ISS thing?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Well that was exciting - ok, now I'm bored.

      One bit of info for you - apparently one of the engines shut down early, and debris was seen falling from the craft at T+80s, but since the Falcon 9 has redundant engine capacity, everything still worked ok enough to get to orbit.

      Be interesting to know what happened.

      Also, Armadillo aerospace launched the STIG-B yesterday, there was a launch anomaly so they don't know how far up it got (intended 100km), but rocket was recovered intact - new flight in 2 weeks.

      1. Kharkov
        Stop

        Armadillo Aerospace?

        The STIG-B rocket is a sub-orbital rocket, not an orbital launch vehicle.

        That said, it's good that there's another aerospace company out there chasing reusability.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Armadillo Aerospace?

          @Kharkov - I never said it was orbital, just that it was trying for 100km. Which is space, if not orbit.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Well that was exciting - ok, now I'm bored.

        Yes, I have seen that engine glitch reported elsewhere. The "without incident" bit of the sub-head would appear to be incorrect. Interestingly, SpaceX's own website still reports the launch as an "unqualified success", which would also appear to be spinning the truth a little. Success? Yes. Great success? Yes. Unqualified success? No.

        Things like this are to be expected[1]. The important bit is ensuring you have sufficient levels of redundancy in the system to mean that they're incidents rather than accidents. Also important is to learn from them, a process which starts with not trying to brush them under the carpet.

        [1] Let's face it, this stuff is bleedin' rocket science.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Well that was exciting - ok, now I'm bored.

          Depends on your definition of success. If success is getting the dragon in to the correct orbit, it's done exactly what is says on the tin. In an unqualified way.

          F9 was designed to work even with major engine outs, redundancy is built in. And since they have said there was an engine problem, the carpet can't be very large.

  7. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Dotcom space cowboy Elon Musk

    I think he has done some cool stuff with his money, unlike some who buy yachts, planes, islands...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Dotcom space cowboy Elon Musk

      Absolutely. I think he will go down in history as one of the great space innovators, perhaps as the person who really started making space available. Not so sure about Tesla, but even they seem to be getting their act together.

  8. Robert E A Harvey
    Coat

    I hesitate to call a bum note on a great step for industry, and I am delighted that we have not forgotten near-earth space.

    But who let them call that 'Dragon'? it's a bit -err- mundane for a dragon.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Flame

      Breathes fire, no?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        Not unless something's gone horribly wrong. The only fire-breathing bit should be the Falcon underneath.....

        1. James Hughes 1

          "Musk, who monitored the launch from SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, Calif., called the capsules Dragon after the magical Puff to get back at critics who, a decade ago, considered his effort a fantasy. The name Falcon comes from the Millennium Falcon starship of "Star Wars" fame." Bay News.

    2. stucs201

      Dragon makes some sense - the fire is due to be added later when they stop using parachutes for landing.

      The Merlin rocket engines on the other hand, thats wrong - a Merlin engine is a 27litre V12.

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      That's not mundane

      There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of Golden Dragon Restaurants. That's mundane.

      I might be a little low... About 5,710,000 results (0.38 seconds)

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    A few notes

    There was an event about 80 secs into the flight and Spacex confirm early shutdown of 1 engine. It looks like debris was released so *may* have been an explosion.

    F9 flight computer recalculated trajectory and burn and carried on without skipping a beat.

    Slightly more problematical was the Orbcomm sat that was in the Dragon trunk. It's been deployed but it's not clear if it was at full design altitude.

    Note Musk *real* achievement is not making a new LOX/Kero rocket. Like Henry Ford its a *vision* and an understanding of the benefits of *highly* integrated manufacture, serial production and configuration management have on *costs*. Dull stuff compared to the drama of *current* space launches but vital in making future ones *cheap* enough to operate on the scale he wants.

    It *could* have been done 20 years ago (without the destination) if someone who was not a govt or a govt con-tractor *cared*.

    They didn't. He did.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few notes

      It could've been done, but the NASA space programme's been a pig's trough for decades. And that's been a bone of contention in the WTO cases of Airbus vs Boeing and vice versa for years. Boeing accuses Airbus of getting 'illegal state subsidies', Airbus accuses Boeing of getting the same by stealth through defense and space contracts.

      Oh well. So glad to see that SpaceX is giving the big boys the finger and shows that they can do this kind of work better for cheaper. Go Elon Musk and his crew!

      1. Beachrider

        Or it could have been done by a larger-economy...

        I never get why Euro-folks trash NASA when they never push the ESA. The EU is a MUCH larger economy than the USA. Get the ESA to push techno-limits, because you vote those folks in...

  10. Richard Jukes

    erm

    Dont you mean Monday the 8th? Or is there a time flux or something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I say, jolly well spotted, have a chocolate starfish.

      You'll find "Send corrections" a tad to the left of "Post a comment", and the apostrophe key should be next to Enter...

    2. The Equestrian
      Joke

      Re: erm

      Nah, this is old news, happened back in 2002... Or maybe next year

  11. b166er

    @Tom 35. Absolutely, and another signatory to The Giving Pledge d(*_*)b

    More like space Robin Hood :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As they say in the States about everything from onion rings to things that are actually awesome; awesome!

  13. Real Ale is Best
    FAIL

    Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

    Please join the modern world. Can we please have units in official Ref units of measurement, or failing that, SI units.

    None of these antiquated pounds, please.

    1. George of the Jungle
      Joke

      Re: Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

      The rocket flew from the US, so we'll use pounds, thank you very much.

      How are you supposed to become proficient at math, when all you use is that effete multiply and divide by 100 for measuments? Mutiplication and division with numbers like 12, 16, 36, 5280, etc build character!

      ;)

      1. The Serpent

        Re: Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

        = 0.108 KiloJubs - official Reg measurements make imperial look like a pot of piss

        1. George of the Jungle

          Re: Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

          kilojubs - a measurement we can all get behind... erm... or in front of...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: multiply and divide by 100 for measuments

        SI uses factors of 1,000 not 100 - millimetre, kilometre, milligram, kilogram.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: multiply and divide by 100 for measuments

          "SI uses factors of 1,000 not 100"

          OK,so they launched a KiloPound of supplies. Would that be a metric ton[ne]?

  14. Spikehead

    OK, so the sub-headline isn't technically incorrect..

    ....as this IS the first mission where the mission objective is to re-supply the ISS. The last Dragon capsule launch was the first private cargo vessel to dock with the ISS, and did carry with it some supplies.

  15. Brady S

    A falcon 9 to launch a tiny 500kg? Why isn't the idiocy of that questioned?

    1. Beachrider

      I don't know if a much-heavier payload was ever planned, but this first-launch WAS done with a light-load. It looks like it was a good idea!

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