Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 09, 2012
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell celebrated the successful liftoff of a landmark cargo mission to the International Space Station tonight as a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft loaded with supplies flew on its own in orbit. The flight is the first operational resupply mission for the company and NASA.
"This was a critical event in spaceflight tonight," Bolden said. "We're once again launching spacecraft from American soil with the supplies our astronauts need in space. NASA and the nation are embarking on an ambitious program of space exploration."
Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, launched its Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 8:35 p.m. EDT, capping a flawless countdown with spectacular show of light and thunder from the rocket's nine engines.
"This was an operational mission, so we're operational (but that) doesn't mean we're going to stop learning and stop making these vehicles as reliable as possible," Shotwell said during a press conference after the launch.
Dragon will rendezvous with the orbiting laboratory Wednesday so astronaut and station commander Suni Williams can reach out with the station's robot arm and grapple the Dragon.
The spacecraft will then be joined to one of the station's ports where astronauts will unload its 1,000 pounds of materials.
They will also load almost 2,000 pounds of used equipment and experiments inside the Dragon to be returned to Earth safely in about three weeks.
Station at NASA Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|