Science

Published on September 22nd, 2012 | by James Ayre

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SpaceX Dragon Capsule Set To Launch Again October 7th, First Of 12 Deliveries Contracted With NASA

September 22nd, 2012 by

 
SpaceX is in preparation to launch its Dragon spacecraft for the first of its planned twelve cargo resupply flights to the International Space Station, as per their contract with NASA.

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“On Thursday, NASA confirmed that the much-anticipated launch of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft aboard the 18-story Falcon 9 is scheduled for Oct. 7 at 8:34 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Dragon will be filled with about 1,000 pounds of supplies,” the LA Times reports.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (the company’s formal name) has a contract of $1.6 billion contract for hauling cargo into space. This will be done in 12 flights, and the cargo will be taken to the space station for NASA. The upcoming flight will be the first of this contract.

“With the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, NASA is hoping to turn the job of carrying cargo and crews over to private industry at a lower cost. Meanwhile, the space agency will focus on deep-space missions to land probes on asteroids and Mars,” the LA Times added.


 
“NASA has poured hundreds of millions of dollars in seed money into SpaceX in hopes that the company can one day complete routine missions to the space station. The space agency pays $63 million to the Russians each time it wants to send an astronaut to the station.”

Of course, there are critics. Some of the most prominent critics are former astronauts, who content that private space companies entail a lot of risk and still have unproven technology.

On the other hand, SpaceX has conducted a successful demonstration mission. “Company officials say cargo missions will yield valuable flight experience toward accomplishing this goal by 2015.”

SpaceX, notably, was created and is run by Paypal and Tesla Motors founder (and current Tesla Motors CEO) Elon Musk. And Elon still has plenty of other groundbreaking goals in other arenas.

“Founded in 2002, SpaceX makes the Dragon and Falcon 9 at a sprawling facility in Hawthorne that once was used to assemble fuselage sections for Boeing 747s. The hardware is put on a big rig and trucked to Cape Canaveral for launches.”

Source: Los Angeles Times
Image Credits: NASA

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



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