When I started to write this Blog entry on the first commercial space flight, I wanted to use the famous words from Astronaut Neal Armstrong and along the way, I learned an interesting fact. Through the use of modern techology, we have learned what Neil Armstrong really said versus what we thought we heard. So let me start with that..
One small step for clarity
Researcher discovers that Neil Armstrong had not only the RIGHT IDEA, but the RIGHT WORDS
By MARK CARREAU Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
High-tech detective work apparently has found the missing “a” in one of the most famous phrases ever spoken.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, now can be confidently recast, according to the research, as “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
It is the more dramatic and grammatically correct phrasing that Armstrong, 76, has often said was the version he transmitted to NASA’s Mission Control for broadcast to worldwide television.
With the technology of the 1960s, however, his global audience heard his comment without the “a,” making it “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
To read the entire article by Mark Carreau in the Houston Chronicle…..
Today, SPACEX launced it’s first commercial rocket into Orbit. To better understand SPACEEX, I found this press release….
NOTE: This is not SPACEEX!!!!
SPACEX WINS NASA COTS CONTRACT TO DEMONSTRATE CARGO DELIVERY TO SPACE STATION WITH OPTION FOR CREW TRANSPORT
El Segundo CA ? August 18, 2006 ? SpaceX announced that it was selected by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the International Space Station. At the option of NASA, the Agreement can be extended to include demonstrating transport of crew to and from the International Space Station (ISS). If successful, NASA will have the ability to use the demonstrated capability to resupply the ISS after the 2010 retirement of the Space Shuttle. The SpaceX team mates for COTS include ARES Corporation, MDA Federal Inc., Odyssey Space Research L.L.C., Paragon Space Development Corporation, and SPACEHAB, Inc.
As part of this Agreement, SpaceX will execute three flights of its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spaceship. These will be the first flights of the Dragon spaceship and the fourth, fifth and sixth flights of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
The missions are scheduled to occur in the late 2008 to 2009 time period and will culminate in demonstrating delivery of cargo to the ISS and safe return of cargo to Earth. The Dragon spaceship is designed from the beginning to have an identical structure for both cargo and crew transport, allowing for a rapid transition from unmanned to manned flight as soon as reliability is proven.
“By stimulating the development of commercial orbital spaceflight, the NASA COTS program will have the same positive effect on space travel as the Air Mail Act of 1925 had on the development of safe and affordable air transportation,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO. “Moreover, the requirement for significant private investment and the fact that NASA only pays for objective, demonstrated milestones ensures that the American taxpayer will receive exceptional value for money.”
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of both manned and unmanned space transportation ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer light, medium and heavy lift capabilities, as well as deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.
The Dragon spaceship is designed to transport up to seven astronauts, as well as both pressurized and unpressurized cargo, to Earth orbit and back. Dragon’s universal docking adapter allows it to interface with all current ISS docking/berthing systems, as well as future systems under development.
To read the Press Release…..
To quote the AP Press Article…..
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? An Internet entrepreneur’s latest effort to make space launch more affordable paid off Sunday when his commercial rocket, carrying a dummy payload, was lofted into orbit from the South Pacific.
It was the fourth attempt by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to launch its two-stage Falcon 1 rocket into orbit.
“Fourth time’s a charm,” said Elon Musk, the multimillionaire who started up SpaceX after making his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal Inc., the electronic payment system.
The rocket carried a 364-pound dummy payload designed and built by SpaceX for the launch.
“This really means a lot,” Musk told a crowd of whooping employees. “There’s only a handful of countries on Earth that have done this. It’s usually a country thing, not a company thing. We did it.”
There a lot more to the AP article, I encourage you to read more…
A lot of great technologies have entered our lives through the space program. Seeing a company like SPACEX making such advancements so quicky, is great news.
The picuture of the man on the Rocket it obviously not SPACEX.
Posted by Michael Corey