Current customers include NASA, which uses Falcon 9 and SpaceX Dragon cargo ships to fly supplies to the worldwide Space Station, and roughly 20 commercial and other satellite operators, many of which have contracts for multiple flights. But fallout from this most recent crash and others before it could hinder Orbital’s longer-term efforts to gain share in the launch business, while complicating the outlook for other companies that rely on these rockets.
“We expected… we would lose some vehicles”, William Gerstenmaier, a NASA associate administrator, said at the news conference. He says it was not clear how the disaster occurred.
The loss of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 7 (CRS-7) mission on June 28th demonstrates, in the view of the National Space Society (NSS), the wisdom of NASA’s policy of maintaining technologically different competitive CRS providers.
A robotic Russian cargo freighter with 3 tons of food and fuel began spinning out of control after reaching orbit in April and, instead of reaching the ISS vessel, burned upon returning to Earth’s atmosphere.
Following Sunday’s hugely disappointing resupply rocket disaster, NASA officials said the ISS astronauts were not in immediate danger, adding that their supplies would last until the end of October.
SpaceX, a private company founded by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, was certified just last month by the Air Force to launch national security missions, breaking a monopoly held by ULA, a Lockheed-Martin and Boeing joint venture.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said Monday that the failure of the unmanned SpaceX launch on Sunday is not a reason to pull back on commercializing the space program. Another Progress craft (from Russia) is set to launch on July 3. This is the third failed mission in a row for SpaceX.
Among the Falcon 9’s cargo were parts needed for a water filtration system, said Michael Suffredini, manager of NASA’s space station program. It was carrying over 2 tons of supplies, including 1,500 pounds of food and provisions for the crew aboard the space station.
The loss of another commercial rocket operated under a NASA contract comes at a time when the agency’s critics in Congress are threatening to reduce funding.
Bianca says they are hoping to start a new experiment next year.
“We never even thought that this would be a problem in the experiment”.
“It will be one more fact companies fold into their decisions and their negotiations, but it’s not going to be the only fact, and it’s certainly not going to be the most important fact”, she said. The headsets were to offer astronauts an augmented reality experience on board the global Space Station by overlaying digital imagery on top whatever lay in front of their eyes. “It’s important to see this event as yet another learning experience for the commercial space industry that will only increase the probability of SpaceX’s success with the Falcon 9 in the future”, said Jeff Feige, Chairman of The Space Frontier Foundation, in a statement relative to the exploded Space X.
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