SpaceX Confirms First ISS Flight for May 7
April 25, 2012 9:44 AM
comment(s) - last by
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
There was a slight delay from the April 30 estimated launch date for more testing
SpaceX has finally set a date for its first launch to the International Space Station (ISS): May 7, 2012.
SpaceX, which will be the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS, has been working on its Dragon cargo capsule for the big flight. However,
a few delays
have put the Dragon a bit behind the original schedule.
The Dragon was originally set to launch on February 7, but SpaceX said that it wanted to conduct more tests before the cargo capsule made its way into space.
Earlier this month, NASA set a second
estimated launch date for April 30
, but the date was never set in stone. In fact, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier said there was only a "good chance" of the Dragon making the April 30 deadline.
Now, after a bit more testing, SpaceX has confirmed the final launch date as May 7 instead. The Dragon will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch is set for exactly 9:38 a.m. (1338 GMT).
"We appreciate that SpaceX is taking the necessary time to help ensure the success of this historic flight," said Gerstenmaier. "We will continue to work with SpaceX in preparing for the May 7 launch to the International Space Station."
The Dragon capsule will carry 1,149 pounds of cargo to the ISS and return a 1,455 pound shipment back to Earth.
The delays and extra testing will be well worth it come May 7, when SpaceX will make history and represent the United States' re-entry into space travel. Last year, NASA
retired its space shuttle fleet
which U.S. astronauts depended on for delivering supplies to the ISS. Since that retirement, American astronauts have been forced to depend on Russian Soyuz rockets to make their way to the ISS -- and the cost of one seat on the Russian spacecraft is expected to increase to $63 million by 2015.
It was clear that the U.S. needed a new way into space, and SpaceX gladly jumped to the opportunity with its Dragon cargo capsule, which is intended for both manned and unmanned missions.
such as BlueOrigin LLC, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing,
have jumped into the private space travel ring as well, but SpaceX raced to the top in a hurry. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pushed past issues like delays and
public criticism from
American space heroes
Neil Armstrong (the first astronaut to step foot upon the Moon on Apollo 11) and Gene Cernan (the last man to step foot upon the moon on Apollo 17) to be the first private company to launch a spacecraft to the ISS.
"I was very sad to see that because those guys are, you know, those guys are heroes of mine, so it's really tough," said Musk. "You know, I wish they would come and visit, and see the hard work that we're doing here. And I think that would change their mind.
"What I'm trying to do is to make a significant difference in space flight, and help make space flight accessible to almost anyone. And I would hope for as much support in that direction as we, as we can receive."
NASA has provided about $270 million to private companies in order to encourage a new era of commercial space travel and tourism.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: You can't stop private innovation if there is a need....
4/25/2012 2:42:57 PM
What he said is pretty accurate in that individuals are usually the ones that drive innovation, it is not so often that private sector "company" does it. Once an innovation has happened, then the more cautious "companies" will take over. Companies do not always want to take so much risk as to endanger their financial welfare, individuals are usually more willing to face such a risk.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
NASA: SpaceX Dragon Expected to Leave for ISS on April 30
April 17, 2012, 10:22 AM
Quick Note: NASA's Remaining Space Shuttles Stripped, Prepared for Final Resting Places
March 29, 2012, 2:45 PM
SpaceX Dragon Capsule Passes NASA Crew Trial, CEO Responds to Criticism from Neil Armstrong
March 19, 2012, 1:07 PM
SpaceX Delays Dragon's First Launch to ISS
January 17, 2012, 9:36 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information