Feeds

SpaceX Dragon podule back from ISS, successful Pacific splashdown

First contracted cargo task done, despite rocket hiccup

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The SpaceX Dragon splashed down in the Pacific yesterday, marking the end of a mostly successful first contracted trip to the International Space Station.

The reusable cargoship dropped into the ocean yesterday evening around 250 miles off the coast of Mexico after resupplying the ISS and its crew. The Dragon was ferried to a port near Los Angeles where it will be prepped for its return to SpaceX's test facility in Texas.

Some of the cargo brought back by the capsule is due to be returned to NASA in the next couple of days, including research samples from the station's microgravity environment. The ship delivered 882 pounds of gear to the ISS, including scientific research and crew supplies. It returned with nearly twice that weight of stuff.

The Dragon uncoupled from the Harmony node on the end of the Canadarm as smoothly as it docked back on October 10. But the preceding launch of the capsule on the Falcon rocket didn't go quite as planned.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stack which launched the Dragon was also lifting a secondary cargo - an OG2 satellite, which burned up in the atmosphere after the Falcon failed to get it into position to settle into a good orbit. The rocket suffered an "anomaly" just over a minute after launch - a nozzle on one of the nine Merlin engines blew, forcing controllers to shut down the power to it.

The other eight engines had enough power remaining to get the Dragon and the satellite into space, but the Falcon second-stage couldn't do the second burn necessary to get the OG2 to its required orbit, as the earlier first stage problem meant this would have resulted in parts of the stack and payload flying through the space station's prohibited safety zone.

OG2-owner Orbcomm is sticking with SpaceX for its future launches though, sending two sats up in 2013 and 2014, this time as the primary payload on Falcon rockets. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.