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SpaceX

The Economist's assembled judging panel singles out eight innovation success stories (Phot...

The Economist magazine announced the winners of its 2012 Innovation Awards on Thursday evening. Selected from fields as diverse as bioscience, telecommunications, energy and aerospace, the winners were selected by a panel of judges, comprised largely of previous award winners. As diverse as they were, those awarded did share one particular trait: far from being pie-in-the-sky ideas, their innovations were all proven technologies. Gizmag attended the awards ceremony at BAFTA in London to get the lowdown on the event.  Read More

Artist's concept of Falcon 9's second stage ignition (Image: Spacex)

SpaceX has completed the first three performance milestones for the manned version of its Dragon/Falcon 9 spacecraft and launch system. In an announcement at its Hawthorne, California, headquarters, SpaceX said that the milestones are part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative, which is intended to develop privately owned and operated manned spacecraft capable of taking passengers into low Earth orbit for NASA and private customers.  Read More

Artist's concept of Dragon reentering the atmosphere (Image: SpaceX)

History’s first commercial space mission ended today as SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth. The 21-day flight to the International Space Station (ISS) ended when the unmanned cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:22 p.m. PDT. The mission, designated CRS-1, is the first of twelve SpaceX is sending to the ISS as part of NASA’s plan to replace the retired Space Shuttle with privately built and operated spacecraft that will one day carry both cargo and crew.  Read More

Gizmag reveals the winners of the World Technology Summit & Awards 2012 (Photo: Ben Chau)

The World Technology Network summoned leading thinkers to New York's TIME Conference Center on Monday and Tuesday to announce the winners of its 2012 World Technology Summit & Awards. The awards showcase the work of innovators across a diverse array of industry sectors and scientific fields. Gizmag reveals the list of winners, which includes no shortage of familiar faces.  Read More

The ISS crew looking inside the Dragon capsule (Photo: NASA)

The hatch of SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft has been opened by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) a day early. Launched last Sunday and docked with the ISS this morning, the opening was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but SpaceX’s twitter feed announced, “At 1:40PM ET, astronauts opened Dragon's hatch, one day ahead of schedule. Success!”  Read More

Dragon captured by an ISS robot arm (Image: NASA)

Spacex’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 9:03 AM EDT (1303 GMT) today. Marking the beginning of a new era of commercial space travel, the privately owned and operated cargo vehicle was captured at 6:56 AM EDT (1056 GMT) by one of the station’s robotic arms operated by Expedition 33 crew member Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA. It was then guided to a docking port where it will remain attached for the next three weeks.  Read More

Dragon awaiting launch

A new chapter has been written in the history of space exploration with the successful launch of the first commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The reusable unmanned freighter Dragon was lifted into orbit today at 8:35 PM EDT (October 8, 0135 GMT) by a Falcon 9 booster from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Tuesday. Carrying 905 kg (1,995 lbs) of cargo, this is the first of twelve contracted flights that Dragon is scheduled to make to the station.  Read More

SpaceX Grasshopper vertical takeoff and landing vehicle goes for a little hop

SpaceX's Falcon rocket has proven that it can fly, and now the private space transport company's Grasshopper is proving that it can hop. The vertical takeoff and landing test vehicle is part of a reusable first stage for Falcon 9 that's being developed by SpaceX to cut down on the cost of missions to space. On Friday, the Grasshopper took its first tiny test flight.  Read More

Dragon being grasped by ISS robot arm (Photo: NASA)

The age of commercial space flight starts this autumn. In October, SpaceX’s Dragon space freighter will make its first scheduled commercial visit to the International Space Station (ISS). On Thursday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that Dragon had completed its certification under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program and was cleared for commercial operation. Holder also announced that Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser manned spacecraft has passed its program implementation plan review and will go on to further development.  Read More

A concept image of Sierra Corporation's Dream Chaser at the International Space Station (I...

Today NASA announced that it has reduced the number of companies competing to produce the first privately built and operated manned spacecraft, to three. The current competitors for the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are now Sierra Nevada Corporation (which will receive a development contract of US$212.5 million), Space Exploration Technologies (aka SpaceX, receiving $440 million) and the Boeing Company (getting $460 million). This is the third round of initiatives designed to promote the development of manned private spacecraft that will be available to the US government to fly crews to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as being available to private customers.  Read More

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