Monday, August 22, 2011

Inside the SpaceX Geekosystem


So I'm browsing around the Geekosystem, when...

GET IT? Ha. GEEKoSystem! No really, it's a website. Go for the information, stay for the dark comedy. Anyway, they featured "A Pictorial Review of SpaceX's Eight Dragon Spaceships" that both delighted and peeved me for various reasons.

SpaceX Dragon
Me with the Dragon 3 Space-Flown Capsule

Dragon Capsule #3 of course made history in December 2010 when it became the first commercial spacecraft to reach orbit, and also be successfully recovered back on Earth, following splashdown after traveling roughly 50,000 miles.

That's awesome, and still makes me all warm and runny when I think about watching the launch and recovery. If they pull off their plans for Dragon 4 to reach the ISS before the year is out, no one will be waving pom-poms around more wildly than I. Let me just say up front that I hate pom-poms. But I'll wave them. For the ISS.

HOWEVER. When I visited SpaceX in Hawthorne, California a few months ago, it was with the understanding that my camera would stay in my car. So when did the rules change or who snuck in to take all of these awesome pictures about Dragon 5, 6, 7 and 8 development?

I saw a couple of these projects up close, but was allowed no shutter time, so what gives? Here's hoping they open a small PR department who will arrange proper tours or even social media events, because the demand is definitely there!

Garrett Reisman
With Garrett Reisman at the Air Force
Space and Missile History Center

Your homework for today, space fans, is to memorize vocabulary words for our new era of space travel:

Crew Development Program Manager
– Garrett's title at SpaceX, after years of being known simply as "NASA Astronaut who was on Stephen Colbert's show twice".

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services – COTS, the newest way NASA is trying to build hardware, seeing as how Congress keeps thinking up ways to prevent that from ever happening again.

Commercial Resupply Service – What the Russians now do without us, and we'd like to try it again here in America. Will SpaceX be our answer? Stand by for your November answer.