The Dragon robot spacecraft docked (or berthed) with the International Space Station since Sunday morning March 3rd, which owner Space X (which tests its rocket engines just up the road from the rancho) trumpeted in its news release as being “thrilled to bring this capability back to the United States.”
The Russians, of course, have doing automated resupply to the ISS for some years, though the Dragon supposedly will be able to return lots more stuff when it recapitulates the old ocean splashdown routine last seen in the Apollo days, March 25 off Baja, California.
I had no idea. Shows what happens when you ignore most of the media most of the time. The first moonwalker, who performed that feat in July 1969 when I was rather preoccupied on patrol in Vietnam, died at 82 in August.
I knew that part. I didn’t know he was cremated and his “ashes” and “dust” were buried at sea in the Atlantic somewhere off Florida. Probably directly east of the launch pad, though it doesn’t say.
Meanwhile, a day or so after the retired Endeavor space shuttle flew by McGregor, Texas, on its 747 carrier, Space X tested its Grasshopper, a vertical landing space vehicle, there. For now, it’s the first stage of X’s Falcon 9 powered by a Merlin engine—and the classic scifi image of the landing space rocket. If they ever do succeed at making that routine, we’ll know our space future is on the way.
Posted in Sailing, Science/Engineering, Space, Texana, Viet Nam
Tagged buried at sea, Falcon 9, Grasshopper, McGregor Texas, Merlin rocket engine, moonwalker, Neil Armstrong, Space X