SpaceX capsule back on solid ground after flight

Jun 05, 2012 by MARCIA DUNN
This Thursday, May 31, 2012 photo provided by SpaceX shows the Dragon spacecraft on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. The capsule arrived by barge at the Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The unmanned supply ship splashed into the Pacific, west of Baja California, Thursday following an unprecedented trip to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/SpaceX)

(AP) — The history-making Dragon spacecraft is back on solid ground.

The SpaceX arrived by barge at the Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday. The unmanned supply ship splashed into the Pacific, west of Baja California, last Thursday following an unprecedented trip to the International Station.

A SpaceX spokeswoman says the Dragon is now headed to the company's rocket factory in McGregor, Texas, for unloading. Space station astronauts filled the capsule with 1,400 pounds (635 kilograms) of old equipment.

The California-based SpaceX is the first private business to send a cargo ship to the space station. It hopes to launch another in September.

NASA is counting on companies like to deliver groceries and, eventually, astronauts to orbit.

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Vendicar Dickarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 05, 2012
Congrats to all the hard working folks at SpaceX! What a phenomenal achievement.
baudrunner
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
One wonders from the looks of that thing whether it is actually reusable, or whether it becomes no more than an expensive dumpster after it has served its primary purpose.
kaasinees
3 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2012
At least it can be recycled in contrast to being space-junk
Newbeak
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
They eventually want to recover the complete booster for recycling (that is where the main expense is in expendable rocket launches) ,not just the payload.SpaceX has plans for the whole vehicle to lower itself with recovery rockets and land at the launch site,but for the life of me,I can't see how they could load it with enough fuel to do that,as well as launching a useful payload.
Jotaf
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
Well, the outside surface looks pretty battered, but if it's the only thing that gets replaced it's still pretty good. Also, this way you can return science equipment and samples, and eventually astronauts (you don't want them to burn up on re-entry...)
Newbeak
not rated yet Jun 06, 2012
Well, the outside surface looks pretty battered, but if it's the only thing that gets replaced it's still pretty good. Also, this way you can return science equipment and samples, and eventually astronauts (you don't want them to burn up on re-entry...)

Not so sure about that.This is what Musk had to say about expenses:

Can you outline the economics?
The fuel, oxidiser and pressurant on a Falcon 9 rocket accounts for about 0.3 per cent of the cost of the mission, about $200,000. But each mission costs $60 million because we have to make a new rocket every time.

Here's the link to the interview: http://www.newsci...igh.html
kaasinees
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2012
But this is the capsule, not the rocket. I am sure parts of it can be reused and the scrap can be sold or recycled.