Friday, May 25, 2012

The Dragon Has Landed


In Ghulf Genes, the novel, two categories of spaceships come to be developed after the discovery of zerofric, the gravity-attenuating substance. The big ones are called Whales, and the biggest of them Leviathans, later SuperLevs. But a competing and much smaller spaceship comes to be developed and plays a major role throughout that history of the future. It is known as the Dragon.

Now for the history of the present. Today SpaceX Corporation’s first vehicle, the Dragon, has linked with the International Space Station! It is the first-ever privately developed space capsule. The image I’m showing, the dragon and its rocket, the dark band separates them, comes from a video simulation provided by the company (link). The vehicle is the Falcon 9. It was launched last Tuesday, May 22. Congratulations, folks. It feels like a new dawn, actually!

It gives me a kind of nostalgic pleasure to have lived long enough to see this. Nostalgia? In this context it is a genuine sci-fi phenomenon. I saw the future in the past. And now the presents projects the future I once saw. Okay. What were they going to call it—if not the Dragon? The Pigeon? But the Takashita mission is still ahead…

2 comments:

  1. The technology here isn't all that new, but it really is a big step forward in how the space enterprise is organized, especially in how we're attacking what has turned out to be the biggest impediment to going to space: cost.

    After feeling that space exploration has been a bit stalled over the last ten or fifteen years, I kinda feel that we're starting to lurch forward once again. Good news, indeed!

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  2. Yes, SpaceX is bringing a sense of new life back to space exploration. But, I'll admit, I'd missed the Dragon/Dragon connection. Shame on me. But, hey, Leviathan is the name that sticks for me. What I'm really watch for now is a nice whale on rail test... What fun for we of the Ghulf Genes network.

    So glad things went smoothly for SpaceX's first expedition!

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