Commercial Space Flight Resupplies the International Space Station (ISS)
SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH KICKS OFF SPACEX'S HISTORIC MISSION
Mission Highlights: During the mission, Dragon must perform a series of complex tasks, each presenting significant technical challenges (dates subject to change):
- May 22/Launch Day: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches a Dragon spacecraft into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- May 23: Dragon orbits Earth as it travels toward the International Space Station.
- May 24: Dragon’s sensors and flight systems are subjected to a series of complicated tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station; these tests include maneuvers and systems checks in which the vehicle comes within 1.5 miles of the station.
- May 25: NASA decides if Dragon is allowed to attempt berthing with the station. If so, Dragon approaches. It is captured by station’s robotic arm and attached to the station, a feat that requires extreme precision.
- May 25 - 31: Astronauts open Dragon’s hatch, unload supplies and fill Dragon with return cargo.
Dragon X Capsule Launch to the International Space Station
I am glad to see the private sector achieve success and keep America involved with the space station. The last shuttle flight left NASA without a ride. Cheers and Good Luck Dragon and hope you enjoyed the video.
Updated Landing Video May 31 2012