A mockup of the crewed version of the Dragon spacecraft on display Friday night outside the Pasadena Convention Center, which is hosting The Planetary Society’s PlanetFest and The Mars Society’s annual conference this weekend. (credit: J. Foust)
[ First in a series of posts about the companies that won and lost in NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) competition ]
Of all the companies involved in the CCiCap competition, SpaceX was widely considered to have an inside track to win one of the awards. Just over two months ago it successfully demonstrated its ability to deliver cargo to the International Space Station using its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, vehicles that would be used, with upgrades and safety improvements, to ferry astronauts as well. So did that explain why SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sounded relatively restrained on a conference call with reporters Friday morning, after the awards were announced?
No. Instead, he was simply a little tired. “I’ve actually just gotten very little sleep because I was quite keen to hear the announcement this morning, so I only got a few hours of sleep,” he explained. (The announcement of the CCiCap awards was made at 6 am Pacific time.) ...