SpaceX launches first Commercial ISS Cargo Mission for NASA

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off Oct. 7. Photo credit: NASA

(Best Syndication News) - The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has been successfully launched today carrying-out a cargo mission for NASA and SpaceX. This is the first flight using SpaceX as a commercial service to deliver items to and from the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is based out of Hawthorne, California. SpaceX’s launch of Dragon is the first Commercial Resupply Services mission, or CRS-1, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Dragon capsule was launched from a Falcon 9 rocket at 8:35 pm EDT on Sunday, October 7, 2012. The rocket had nine engines that lit the sky as it took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There were no problems at lift-off.

The Dragon will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday. Commander Suni Williams will take the robot arm that is on the ISS and grab the Dragon so that it can connect to the station port. Once docked on the ISS, the astronauts will unload 1,000 pounds of materials and supplies. Then the astronauts will load around 2,000 pounds of used equipment and experiments that will be returned back to Earth.

The return of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft back to Earth is planned to take place in around three weeks. This mission will be the first of dozens for SpaceX to deliver supplies to ISS.

By: Julie Marcus
Science and Technology Writer

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