SpaceX Dragon set to blast off to space station

Oct 07, 2012 by Marcia Dunn
In this image provided by NASA the Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, Falcon 9 rocket with it's Dragon capsule attached on top is seen at Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Oct. 2, 2012. The coming mission is the first under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA that calls for a dozen resupply flights by SpaceX, essential in the post-shuttle era. The liftoff is planned for Sunday morning, Oct. 7, at 8:35 p.m. EDT. (AP Photo/NASA)

A privately owned rocket was poised to blast off Sunday night on the first of a dozen space station supply missions under a mega-contract with NASA.

It will be the second time that the California-based SpaceX company tries to launch a Dragon capsule to the .

Last May, a test flight went well. Now the real work is about to begin under a $1.6 billion contract between NASA and SpaceX. This will be the first of 12 resupply missions under that contract.

"Are you ready to hear the (hash)Dragon roar!" SpaceX said in a update.

SpaceX raised the Falcon rocket, vertically, at its Sunday afternoon in advance of the 8:25 p.m. (0025 GMT) liftoff. Forecasters said there's a 40 percent chance that or rain could interfere. The good news was that a piece of was no longer threatening the orbiting lab, and NASA could focus entirely on the delivery mission.

NASA is counting on private business to restock the space station, now that the shuttles have retired to museums.

This newest Dragon will carry up about 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) of food, clothes, experiments and equipment. The three space station residents will get a frozen treat when the capsule arrives later in the week: chocolate vanilla swirl ice cream.

Even more cargo will come back when the Dragon parachutes into the Pacific at the end of October.

None of the Russian, European or Japanese cargo ships can bring anything back; they're destroyed during re-entry.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or —owned by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk—is working to convert its unmanned Dragon capsules into vessels that could carry astronauts to the space station in three years. Other U.S. companies also are vying to carry crews. Americans must ride Russian rockets to orbit in the meantime, for a steep price.

Explore further: Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

1 hour ago

Kazakhstan's first-ever Earth observation satellite is to be fired into orbit next week from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana, launch company Arianespace said.

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

4 hours ago

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

20 hours ago

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Neurons_At_Work
not rated yet Oct 07, 2012
FYI--Launch went perfectly, solar arrays deployed. Docking Wed. Love this stuff--good going, Elon. Falcon 9 4 for 4.

More news stories

Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

Kazakhstan's first-ever Earth observation satellite is to be fired into orbit next week from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana, launch company Arianespace said.

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

Professional and amateur astronomers join forces

(Phys.org) —Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time. These amateur astronomers devote hours ...

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...