SPACEX BURNS UP COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE WITH REALLY LOUSY LAUNCH
October 14 2012
Cape Canaveral, FL – One day, likely, space travel will be more common. Many had hoped that by this stage, 2012 almost 2013, we would be much further along in travelling into space and really, judging by the early days of manned flight we should be.
We are not, however, owing to politics, money, poor choices, and a host of other factors. As of right now space is still the venue for a select few individuals whose numbers are decreasing. A number of private space travel firms have attempted to break that blockade and finally make space more accessible for regular people and thus far, they have had middling results.
One of the most flamboyant and vocal of private space pioneers has been of course Richard Branson. For all his chatter though, Branson has had very limited success thus far. Another private firm, SpaceX, has been a little different and made serious strides towards sending at least rockets into space, something they did last week in their first major launch. Unfortunately that launch went awry, falling into the wrong orbit which has now caused the $10 million satellite it was carrying to burn up into nothing which is exactly what would have happened if it was carrying people.
“Orbcomm understood from the beginning that the orbit-raising maneuver was tentative. They accepted that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit. SpaceX would not have agreed to fly their satellite otherwise,
since this was not part of the core mission and there was a known, material risk of no altitude raise,” said SpaceX spokesperson Katherine Nelson. “Had Orbcomm been the primary payload on this mission ... we believe the OG2 prototype would have reached the desired orbit.”
The vessel was also carrying 1000 pounds of gear for the International Space Station which wasn’t something they didn’t know beforehand.
The ship did manage to deliver that payload without burning it to a crisp.
“There are a host of reasons as to why there hasn’t been more space travel thus far and that is almost exclusively tied to the dangers and difficulty inherent in it. It isn’t laziness, for the most part, it’s because going to space is really, really hard,” said Scrape TV Science analyst Dr. Howard Poe. “Clearly SpaceX felt they had this thing, that they were going to be able to succeed where so many others had failed so many other times but now we see what arrogance gets you, it gets you burned up in orbit.”
Orbcomm, the owners of the satellite, will be in theory sending 17 more devices with SpaceX over the next two years.
“This failure really does show why so few companies and countries get themselves involved in space flight. It is so easy to make a small miscalculation or to have a rocket go out and then everything burns up in space including not only your payload but all your hopes and dreams, and your payload which very well could include people,” continued Poe. “I’m sure SpaceX will take this as a learning lesson and maybe, perhaps, use better rockets or more of them the next time the ensure that stuff they promised to deliver doesn’t just burn up in space because that is really not the point of launching stuff, not really.”
It’s not clear when or if SpaceX will try to not destroy the stuff people have entrusted them with.
Anna Phillips, Science Correspondent