Feeds

SpaceX Dragon podule back from ISS, successful Pacific splashdown

First contracted cargo task done, despite rocket hiccup

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.