Sunday, April 18, 2010

SpaceX Completes Another Tanking Test

Spaceflight Now reports that the SpaceX Falcon 9 completed another tanking test on April 16.

The earliest Falcon 9 could fly its test flight is May 8. The delay has been Air Force approval of its flight termination system (FTS).

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk led President Obama Thursday on a tour of the SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral's Pad 40. To quote from the article:

Musk told Spaceflight Now that Obama specifically asked what modifications are required for the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to be ready for human occupants.

This could be interpreted as Obama inquiring whether Falcon 9 can "close the gap" on American reliance upon the Russians to reach the International Space Station. The Bush Administration's Constellation program left the U.S. with a minimum five-year gap. The non-partisan Augustine panel report estimated the gap is now at more like eight years.

No comments:

Post a Comment