The Falcon 9 rocket's engines ignite on the SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, May 22, 2012. Photo: SpaceX
Before dawn today at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit. The mission makes SpaceX the first commercial space flight firm to attempt to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Next, the vehicle will undergo a series of tests to assess whether it is ready to berth with the ISS. From the company announcement:
The vehicle’s first stage performed nominally before separating from the second stage. The second stage successfully delivered the Dragon spacecraft into its intended orbit. This marks the third consecutive successful Falcon 9 launch and the fifth straight launch success for SpaceX.
“We obviously have to go through a number of steps to berth with the Space Station, but everything is looking really good and I think I would count today as a success no matter what happens with the rest of the mission,” [SpaceX founder and chief designer Elon] Musk said.
Video here. SpaceFlightNow has extensive coverage. For background, check out Miles O'Brien's recent piece on PBS NewsHour, which includes a visit to the SpaceX factory and an interview with Musk.
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
The Action Lab took a maglev gyroscope and placed it inside a sealed chamber to see what happens to a levitating gyroscope in a vacuum. A lot of people took issue with the experiment’s setup and explanation, but it’s interesting nonetheless. He responded to those concerns: Hi everyone! I see a lot of comments that […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]