SpaceX Wins $440 Million NASA Contract to Replace the Space Shuttle


ReadWriteWeb | JON MITCHELL

Aerospace firm SpaceX announced Friday that it won a $440 million contract from NASA to modify its Dragon capsule for human space flight as a private-sector successor to the Space Shuttle. The plan is to launch the first Dragon flight carrying American astronauts by 2015.

The Dragon capsule can carry seven astronauts, and it launches aboard the 227 foot-tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. These vehicles proved themselves in May in an unmanned mission in which Dragon became the first private spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station.

Since that mission, SpaceX has undergone tests to ensure that the vehicles are ready for manned spaceflight. On July 17, Dragon passed NASA’s design review, which outlined its new launch pad emergency procedures, its life-support systems, cockpit design and propulsive landing system. While the unmanned Dragon splashed down in the ocean, the piloted version will have thrusters to guide it to a landing.

“This is a decisive milestone in human spaceflight and sets an exciting course for the next phase of American space exploration,” SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk said in a press release. “SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown.”

See also: Profile of SpaceX Founder Elon Musk

 

The First Official Free iPhone Application From Nasa


By Muhammad Faisal

NASA has officially announced the new and final version of NASA app for iPhone. This App allow you to discover a wealth of NASA information right on your iPhone or iPod touch. This App collects, customizes and deliver an extensive selection selecttion of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources in a convenient mobile package.

You can explore alot of information about space and universe, you will have different missions like the mission orbit tracking screen which is available for some missions that are in orbit around the Earth like the International Space Station, shows the current orbit position of a selected spacecraft. We can email the mission description screens and URLs to user from this App.

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