NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion
NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion
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And space agency officials said Sunday's failure by a
SpaceX rocket expected to fly astronauts within a few
years, while d...
But if more failures occur, NASA will be prepared to return crews home before supplies run out.
"We're not even close to t...
Human Exploration and Operations, address Sunday afternoon's SpaceX launch explosion. NASA-TV.
Posted June 28, 2015
Advoca...
SpaceX planned to launch a weather satellite in August, and later this year a commercial
communications satellite and two ...
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NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion

NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion543645Share This Story!Let friends in your soci...
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
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Transcripts - NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion

  • 1. NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosion 5436 45 Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about NASA vows to press on despite SpaceX rocket explosionThe craft, carrying food for the International Space Station, failed just after liftoff. Try Another Audio CAPTCHA Image CAPTCHA Help # # CancelSend Sent!A link has been sent to your friend's email address. Posted!A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. James Dean and Emre Kelly, Florida Today 7:58 p.m. EDT June 28, 2015 The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that exploded Sunday means the loss of important research equipment and supplies for the crew on board the International Space Station. But it won't delay plans to send three more astronauts to the ISS next month. USA TODAY A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket breaks up over the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, June 28, 2015.(Photo: NASA TV) CAPE CANAVERAL -- While SpaceX searched the Atlantic Ocean for Falcon 9 rocket debris, NASA on Sunday pledged to press ahead with International Space Station operations despite the outpost's third lost resupply missions in eight months.
  • 2. And space agency officials said Sunday's failure by a SpaceX rocket expected to fly astronauts within a few years, while disappointing, only underscored the wisdom of choosing two companies, not one, to launch crews. "This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "Today's launch attempt will not deter us from our ambitious human spaceflight program." SpaceX will lead an investigation into what caused a Falcon 9 rocket to break apart 2 minutes and 19 seconds after a 10:21 a.m. ET blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, dooming a Dragon capsule packed with more than 4,000 pounds of ISS supplies. Among the cargo was a docking ring that two future U.S. crew vehicles would have used, SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100. Minutes after liftoff, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an unmanned Dragon capsule exploded above Cape Canaveral. The rocket blasted off from Launch Complex 40 under excellent weather conditions and had successfully completed a short test-firing. USA TODAY SpaceX initially focused on an oxidizer tank in the rocket's upper stage, which SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said became overpressurized. "Data suggests a counterintuitive cause," he said on Twitter, adding no more could be said before a thorough analysis of flight data. The failure was the first by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket after 18 successful launches, including five this year. It followed the loss in late April of a Russian resupply ship, and last October's explosion of an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo craft shortly after their liftoff from Virginia's Eastern Shore. "Having three (failures) this close together is not what we had hoped for," said Mike Suffredini, NASA's ISS program manager. "Fortunately we had put ourselves in a position ... where we had quite a bit of logistics on board to support the crew." NASA said the space station now has enough food to last until October, and several more cargo missions are planned before the end of the year. Another Russian Progress freighter is scheduled to launch next Friday, followed by Japan's HTV in August and the next flight of Orbital's Cygnus -- this time on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket -- in December, possibly sooner.
  • 3. But if more failures occur, NASA will be prepared to return crews home before supplies run out. "We're not even close to that kind of conversation today," said Suffredini. The need for basic provisions could potentially limit the number of science experiments sent to the station, but Suffredini said also that isn't yet a problem. Along with the docking adapter, which was the first of two to fly, Suffredini said some important research and hardware was lost Sunday, including a new spacesuit and a set of water filters. Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The loss of the filters and an unlucky batch of student experiments was doubly painful. They were being flown for a second time after a first round was destroyed in Orbital's launch failure last fall. "This loss will certainly be a challenge for them, but this is also a learning experience for those students and for all of us," said Suffredini. For now, three more astronauts including NASA's Kjell Lindgren are scheduled to launch in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on July 22, doubling the ISS crew to six. The current crew watched the SpaceX launch from orbit. It includes NASA's Scott Kelly, who arrived in March to start a yearlong mission along with Russia's Mikhail Kornienko. "Space is hard," Kelly concluded in a tweet. Beyond these cargo missions, NASA has awarded SpaceX and Boeing multibillion-dollar contracts to fly astronauts to the station by late 2017. Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA's human spaceflight programs, said that goal was still attainable if Congress gives the Commercial Crew Program the full $1.2 billion NASA requested for next year. Current budget proposals would offer at least $200 million less. "We want to get a redundant capability to deliver crew to space as soon as we can get that, so we're not solely dependent on the Russians," said Gerstenmaier. "So we need that funding at the level we requested so we can get that work moving forward." While Sunday's loss of cargo was unfortunate, he said, it showed NASA could learn important lessons before it puts people on commercial rockets and spacecraft. Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX and SWilliam Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, NASA
  • 4. Human Exploration and Operations, address Sunday afternoon's SpaceX launch explosion. NASA-TV. Posted June 28, 2015 Advocates of NASA's strategy to fly astronauts commercially, years after the shuttle program's retirement in 2011, warned against an overreaction to SpaceX's failure. "It's remarkable that SpaceX has had such a successful run," said Eric Stallmer, director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. "There will be naysayers, there will be folks that probably say 'I told you so,' but I think that will hardly deter SpaceX and the other commercial companies that are pushing the envelope in this business." Sunday's countdown unfolded quietly and the weather at Cape Canaveral was nearly perfect. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule on the pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40. The rocket on Friday completed a successful test-firing of its nine main engines. (Photo: SpaceX via Twitter (@SpaceX)) Observers at Kennedy Space Center cheered as the 208-foot Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 40 with 1.3 million pounds of thrust. But they could see that something went wrong as the rocket's nine first-stage engines neared shutdown. There was no fiery explosion, but a small cloud appeared to burst from the rocket as it climbed into the clear, blue sky. Video replays showed smoke or steam enveloping the rocket for several seconds before it exploded into pieces, while the rocket was about 29 miles high and flying at nearly 3,000 mph. SpaceX had several ships deployed in the Atlantic for what the company hoped would be another experimental attempt to land the Falcon 9 booster on a platform, part of the company's goal to lower launch costs by reusing rockets. Instead, the boats were tasked with finding debris. "It's a hiccup. It's certainly a time to pause and make sure we're doing everything we need to do. But no, I don't anticipate any significant changes." SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the company's investigation, under oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial launches, would likely take months. She said every rocket company and space program prepare for potential launch failures, and Sunday's would not represent a major setback for SpaceX. "It's a hiccup," she said. "It's certainly a time to pause and make sure we're doing everything we need to do. But no, I don't anticipate any significant changes."
  • 5. SpaceX planned to launch a weather satellite in August, and later this year a commercial communications satellite and two more ISS cargo missions. Those missions will be delayed indefinitely. The failure comes not long after Air Force approved SpaceX to compete with United Launch Alliance for launches of national security satellites, after a lengthy and sometimes contentious certification process. Gerstenmaier said the space station program's recent losses of three different resupply vehicles highlighted the inherent difficulty of spaceflight. "It's not easy living on the frontier of space," he said. "It's not easy taking care of space station. I think sometimes folks think it's easy and it seems routine, and that's when we get in trouble. It is not easy and it is not routine." Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1IlvuYJ 0) { % 0) { % 0) { % http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/98213628/0/usatoday-newstopstories~NASA-vows-to-press-on-despit e-SpaceX-rocket-explosion/

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