SpaceX Orbital's Cygnus: SpaceX has a competitor!

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D H

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Orbital Science Corporation launched its Antares rocket Wednesday, carrying its Cygnus spacecraft into space and on its way to the ISS. Capture by the robotic arm is scheduled for 7:25 AM eastern time. The approach will be visible from the ground in the northern US and southern Canada. NASA TV will show this live starting at 4:30 AM for those of who can't see those dots in the sky (NASA's view will be from a much closer perspective).

cygnus-cargo-logistics-spacecraft.jpg


Satellite flybys website: http://www.spaceweather.com/flybys/
NASA TV website: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#.Ujzv6BZiigw
 
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berkeman

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What are the advantages of each of the competitors?
 

D H

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Orbital is a publicly traded corporation. SpaceX is privately held. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Being publicly traded can get in the way of innovation and long term time horizons. Being privately held increases risk.

Orbital contracts some work out while SpaceX much prefers to build everything in-house. Again, advantages and disadvantages to each.

SpaceX had a big head start on Orbital. NASA originally awarded the COTS contracts to SpaceX ($278 million + milestones, $378 M total) and Rocketplane Kistler ($207 million). NASA canceled the RpK contract after RpK failed to meet obligations (but after paying RpK $32 million). NASA opened a new competition for that second slot, which Orbital won ($170 M + milestones, $288 M total). That left Orbital 2 years and $100 million behind SpaceX.

The end result: SpaceX has a more powerful rocket and a more capable vehicle.
 
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Being publicly traded can get in the way of innovation and long term time horizons. Being privately held increases risk.
But you usually have good cash investment no? Though SpaceX is owned by billionare Brandson right?

Is this the craft here?
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Cygnus_fact.pdf [Broken]
 
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D H

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Out of order response:

That's it.

Berthing is in about seven and half hours from now (7:30 AM EDT). There are lots of opportunities for people in the northern US and southern Canada to see passes of the ISS and Cygnus overhead.


But you usually have good cash investment no? Though SpaceX is owned by billionare Brandson right?
It's Elon Musk, not Richard Branson. You need to get your billionaire space club membership straight. This list is by no means complete.


Company: Armadillo Aerospace
Owner: John D. Carmack
How he got rich: Video games (Doom, Quake, Rage, and others)
Goal: Space tourism

Company:Bigelow Aerospace
Owner: Robert Bigelow
How he got rich: Vegas, baby!
Goal: Space tourism

Company: Blue Origin
Owner: Jeff Bezos
How he got rich: Amazon (founder)
Goal: Rather tight lipped

Company: Planetary Resources, Inc.
Principals: Peter Diamandis, Eric C. Anderson
Key investors: Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Ross Perot Jr., Charles Simonyi, James Cameron
How they got rich: Space tourism, Google, inheritance, Microsoft, movies
Goal: Space mining

Company: Space Adventures, Ltd.
Owners: Eric C. Anderson, Peter Diamandis
How they got rich: Space tourism
Goal: Space tourism

Company: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (Space-X)
Owner: Elon Musk
How he got rich: Zip2, PayPal
Goal: Perhaps everything

Company: Stratolaunch Systems
Owners: Paul Allen, Burt Rutan
How they got rich: Microsoft (cofounder), aerospace engineering
Goal: Space tourism

Company: Virgin Galactica
Owner: Richard Branson
How he got rich: Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines
Goal: Space tourism
 
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jhae2.718

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The Cygnus spacecraft also burns up in reentry, similar to Progress, as far as I know.

SpaceX is also pursuing CCDev (Commercial Crew Development -- manned spaceflights to the ISS). Here, their main competitor is Boeing with CST-100.
 

D H

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The Cygnus spacecraft also burns up in reentry, similar to Progress, as far as I know.
Correct. The European Space Agency's ATV and Japan's HTV are also expendable vehicles.
 

D H

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Cygnus was successfully captured at 7:01 AM EDT. Congrats, Orbital!
 

berkeman

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Woot!
 

jhae2.718

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Congrats to Orbital.

And on the SpaceX side, congrats on a good launch of Falcon 9 v1.1.
 

jhae2.718

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http://www.floridatoday.com/proart/20131022/space/131022004/cygnus-completes-first-visit-iss?pagerestricted=1 [Broken]
 
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berkeman

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http://www.floridatoday.com/proart/20131022/space/131022004/cygnus-completes-first-visit-iss?pagerestricted=1 [Broken]
That link appears to require a subscription to the paper...?
 
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jhae2.718

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That link appears to require a subscription to the paper...?
Hmm, it works for me, but I also have JavaScript and cookies disabled so it could be a badly-designed paywall.
 

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