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 11:46:12 PM
Well, government contracts are pretty sweet. Definately pay better than ol' SpaceX is willing to sub out, and that was the problem.
Look at Halliburton for example. They were charging the military $60 for a can of spaghetti o's. Just one of many reasons why it cost $1 million per soldier per year deployed to Iraq. That soldier made maybe $40,000 for that tour, and the rest weren't just fuel costs...and for that cool 1 mil, they initially didn't even get proper body armor!
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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
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
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