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View Diary: What NASA Could Be (320 comments)

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  •  SpaceX does have a history of (0+ / 0-)

    over promising.  I won't deny that.  I think they would've been well served not to make as many claims as they have, and instead considered looking at the XCOR or Blue Origin model.  Or, if they could go the Armadillo Aerospace route, and literally publish everything (well, until very recently).  However, they do have results on their side as well, which can't be ignored.  And I think they always add first liquid fuel private rocket.

    As for the vehicles and rockets

    Falcon 1 - The launcher with which you are aware of  - its launched 4 times, failed the first 3 times.  Has a single Merlin engine.

    Falcon 9 - It has 9 Merlin engines on it, and can place a lot more in orbit.  

    Dragon - An orbital vehicle, designed to deliver cargo and crew to orbit.  NASA is providing partial funding the development of this vehicle (and Falcon 9) under the COTS program.  However, NASA has not excersied the Crew option, although Dragon was designed from the beginning to be both.

    Orbital Sciences

    Cygnus- Orbital Science's proposal to deliver cargo to and from the space station.  It has been reported that they have done some initial investigations into a crewed version, but not much.  
    Taurus 2 - The launcher for Cygnus
    Both Taurus 2 and Cygnus are being partially funded via the COTS program.  

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