SpaceX Successfully Launches Dragon/Falcon 9 for First Official Cargo Run
October 8, 2012 4:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
SpaceX's first official cargo run launch
Dragon is expected to reach the ISS this Wednesday, and will return to Earth in late October
SpaceX made another historical climb to the International Space Station (ISS), marking its
first official cargo run
as part of its contract with NASA.
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8:35 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Dragon is carrying 882 pounds of cargo, including important scientific experiments. It will return with twice as much cargo, making the Dragon a unique spacecraft considering many Russian, Japanese and European cargo ships are destroyed upon re-entry and cannot return cargo from the ISS. Even Russian Soyuz rockets are too small to carry anything other than astronauts.
The launch was declared a success, despite troubles with one of the
Falcon 9's nine first-stage engines
during ascent to orbit. The other eight engines compensated for the failing unit, allowing Dragon to travel into space.
Dragon is expected to reach the ISS this Wednesday, and will return to Earth in late October. During its time at the ISS, cargo will be unloaded and reloaded.
SpaceX stepped in with new methods for American space transport after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet throughout 2011. This retirement left American astronauts with no way of their own to the ISS, with the exception of catching a pricey ride aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. NASA turned to the private sector, where SpaceX offered its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket.
In May of this year, SpaceX launched
Dragon and Falcon 9 to the ISS for the first time
. It made a successful cargo run, which ended with the Dragon plunging safely into the Pacific Ocean.
After that run, NASA and SpaceX signed a $1.6 billion contract, which allows SpaceX to make 12 total cargo runs to the ISS through 2015. Yesterday's launch marks the first of the 12.
"Just over one year after the retirement of the space shuttle, we have returned space station cargo resupply missions to U.S. soil and are bringing the jobs associated with this work back to America," said Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator. "The SpaceX launch tonight marks the official start of commercial resupply missions by American companies operating out of U.S. spaceports like the one right here in Florida."
Bolden also added that "nonbelievers," who previously said SpaceX and other private companies couldn't pull this off, can see this successful launch as an excuse to get behind SpaceX.
Beyond the 12 cargo runs, SpaceX is also working on spaceships capable of carrying astronauts to the ISS. The company is looking to create a manned version of the Dragon, which is expected to transport astronauts starting somewhere between 2015 and 2017.
SpaceX's next cargo run will take place in January.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Space missions
10/8/2012 9:03:19 PM
Well, I'm sure we can thank Obama for investing your tax dollars into SpaceX.
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
SpaceX Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Rocket Engines
October 1, 2012, 2:42 PM
SpaceX to Send its Dragon for First "Official" ISS Supply Run Oct. 7
September 21, 2012, 1:26 PM
SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Reaches ISS, Station Captures Footage of Arrival
May 25, 2012, 3:30 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information