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Dragon's first official cargo delivery to the ISS is set for October 7

In preparation for its first official cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX successfully tested its Falcon 9 rocket engines. 

SpaceX conducted a static-fire test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last week. The test involved holding down the Falcon 9 rocket while nine Merlin engines were set off for a couple of seconds on the pad. Data was recorded during the test, which will be analzyed before the Falcon 9 takes off for space. 

After NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year, American astronauts were forced to depend on Russian Soyuz rockets to get to the ISS. This turned into a pricey method of space travel, which led to a search for the next American spacecraft for ISS cargo deliveries. 

SpaceX stepped up with its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket as an alternative to NASA's space shuttle fleet. This was a huge step for American spaceflight, since it marked the first time a private company would send a spacecraft to the ISS. 

SpaceX first sent its Dragon capsule to the ISS on the back of a Falcon 9 rocket back in May of this year for testing. After a successful cargo delivery, SpaceX agreed to a $1.6 billion NASA contract where it would make 12 runs to the ISS.

SpaceX's first official cargo run to the ISS is set for October 7 at 8:34 p.m. ET. 

Check out a video of the engine test here:

Source: NBC News



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Awesome!
By LBID on 10/1/2012 3:50:04 PM , Rating: 5
Congratulations, SpaceX! Go boldly forth, and hopefully many will follow in the trail you are blazing for commercial space endeavors.




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