Tomorrow (May 19) is a significant milestone in the commercial space race. SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. During the mission, Dragon’s sensors and flight systems will be subject to a series of tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station. If NASA decides Dragon is ready, the vehicle will attach to the station and astronauts will open Dragon’s hatch and unload the cargo onboard.
See the SpaceX web site for updates.
Source: Huffington Post
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- For the first time, a private company will launch a rocket to the International Space Station, sending it on a grocery run this weekend that could be the shape of things to come for America's space program.
If this unmanned flight and others like it succeed, commercial spacecraft could be ferrying astronauts to the orbiting outpost within five years.
It's a transition that has been in the works since the middle of the last decade, when President George W. Bush decided to retire the space shuttle and devote more of NASA's energies to venturing deeper into space.
California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, is the first of several companies hoping to take over the space station delivery business for the U.S. The company's billionaire mastermind, Elon Musk, puts the odds of success in his favor while acknowledging the chance for mishaps.
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