Space X splashdown in the Pacific

spacex4.jpg It's two out of two for the Hawthorne-based space transportation company as its Dragon capsule landed safely after a mission to the International Space Station. This is the second time that a Space X capsule docked with the Space Station, though it's the first operational flight, part of a $1.6-billion NASA contract. Not everything went as planned - one of the nine engines on the Falcon 9 rocket shut down shortly after launch. As a result, a satellite that the rocket was carrying didn't reach orbit. Space X's next supply run is expected in January. From Florida Today:

The Dragon departed the International Space Station at 9:29 a.m. EDT when it was pulled from a docking port and then released by a robotic arm. A series of thruster firings moved the Dragon away from the outpost and adjusted its orbit before a planned 9-minute, 50-second burn at 2:28 p.m. initiated the spacecraft's descent through the atmosphere. SpaceX later confirmed that the "trunk" holding Dragon's solar arrays had successfully jettisoned, exposing its PICA-X heat shield. A pair of drogue parachutes followed by three main chutes were set to deploy within 10 minutes of the splashdown. A recovery team was to hoist the Dragon from the water onto the deck of a 100-foot ship for return to a dock in Long Beach, Calif.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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