If you didn't think it would be possible in your lifetime to take a ride through the universe, you might need to think this one over again: a private space flight is scheduled for early May.
On May 7, 2012 Space X "Dragon" will launch the first commercial demonstration flight to the International Space Station, delivering supplies on its first mission. "Space X" is the private company of billionaire Elon Musk. He is the CEO, and chief designer of the "Dragon". Mr. Musk is also the co-founder of "Tesla Motors" and was part of the team that created Pay Pal.
Lance Ulanoff editor and chief of "Masable Tech" sits down with Elon Musk to talk about the opportunities of space exploration, and making life multi-planetary.
Canadarm2 at the International Space Stationwill will perform a cosmic catch, and attempt grapple the capsule and install it on the space station. Since this is a maiden voyage, it is not yet known whether it will be successful.
A computer animation by NASA shows how the "Dragon" will approach the International Space Station, with Canadarm2 grappling the capsule in free flight and docking it to the station.
Originally scheduled for an April 30th launch, the date was pushed back to May 7, 2012. News media from around the world will be in Cape Canaveral, Fla for the launch. "NASA" has published an itinerary about the launch on their website.
"Space X" is one of many private companies competing to replace NASA's defunct space shuttle program as a means of delivering cargo and, eventually, crews to the ISS, or possibly to other locations.
Originally, NASA had contracted two companies, Space X had been chosen, along with Kistler Aerospace, to develop cargo launch services for the ISS. Space X and Kistler were to receive up to $278 million and $207 million respectively, if they met all NASA milestones, but Kistler failed to meet its obligations, and its contract was terminated in 2007.
If the mission is successful, Space X, will have a lifetime of government contracts worth billions, as there does not seem to be a competitor than can stand up to them at this time.
Space The Final Frontier.....