SpaceX's next cargo run to space station in October

Aug 24, 2012 By Nancy Atkinson
SpaceX’s next cargo run to space station in October
Screen capture from NASA TV of the SpaceX Dragon capsule berthed to the International Space Station

SpaceX is scheduled to launch the first of its 12 contracted cargo flights to the International Space Station in October, 2012. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced Thursday at Kennedy Space Center that SpaceX is now fully certified to ferry cargo to the space station. While the company's Dragon capsule did bring cargo to the ISS during its initial flight in May, that was considered just a test flight. Now comes a series of 'real' cargo runs.

Bolden also announced some other commercial milestones under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services Program that "progress toward a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next 5 years," he said.

"We're working to open a new frontier for commercial opportunities in space and create job opportunities right here in Florida and across the United States," Bolden said. "And we're working to in-source the work that is currently being done elsewhere and bring it right back here to the U.S. where it belongs."

Bolden also announced NASA partner Sierra Nevada Corp. has conducted its first milestone under the agency's recently announced Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. The milestone, a program implementation plan review, marks an important first step in Sierra Nevada's efforts to develop a crew transportation system with its spacecraft.

CCiCap is an initiative of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and an Obama administration priority. The objective of the CCP is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the space station and . After the capability is matured, it is expected to be available to the government and other customers. NASA could contract to purchase commercial services to meet its station crew transportation needs later this decade.

Explore further: Cassini: Return to Rhea

Related Stories

NASA looking for more space taxis

Feb 08, 2012

NASA is looking for more ways to get astronauts to the International Space Station. The space agency put out a call today for commercial space companies to submit bids as part of the latest round of the Commercial ...

Spacex completes Dragon design review

Jul 13, 2012

NASA partner Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has completed an important design review of the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft. The concept baseline review presented NASA with the primary and secondary design ...

NASA inks agreement with maker of Atlas V rocket

Jul 19, 2011

NASA said Monday that it had reached an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to try to adopt the Atlas V commercial rocket to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA completes Dream Chaser flight test milestone

Jun 01, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems successfully completed a "captive carry test" of its full-scale Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle Tuesday, marking a new milestone in the company's ...

NASA extends its Russian space contract

Apr 10, 2007

NASA has signed a $719 million extension of the International Space Station contract with Russia's Federal Space Agency for services through 2011.

Recommended for you

Cassini: Return to Rhea

8 hours ago

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

16 hours ago

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

19 hours ago

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

19 hours ago

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

MESSENGER completes 4,000th orbit of Mercury

19 hours ago

On March 25, the MESSENGER spacecraft completed its 4,000th orbit of Mercury, and the lowest point in its orbit continues to move closer to the planet than ever before. The orbital phase of the MESSENGER ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.