After running into engineering-related delays, SpaceX on Friday successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket. It took ten minutes for the spacecraft to deploy the Dragon capsule that will dock with the International Space Station (ISS) for a resupply mission. The payload contains about 5,000 pounds worth of supplies ranging from common equipment, to legs for a space robot. This is SpaceX’s third cargo delivery—twelve are scheduled in a $1.6 billion contract agreement with NASA.
As part of today’s delivery, SpaceX also used the launch to test a new landing system that could see future Falcon rockets return to a specific area on Earth autonomously. That would allow SpaceX to better reuse components for future missions, which is a huge part of the company’s strategy—a successful autonomous system could also lead to better-equipped missions to Mars.
Orbit insertion and Dragon deploy all good. Falcon reentry burn also good. Waiting for landing data from tracking plane.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 18, 2014
SpaceX’s Dragon is expected to arrive at the ISS this Sunday, where the station will then use a robotic arm to grab the capsule before docking. Unrelated to the resupply mission, NASA has a spacewalk planned for next Wednesday in the hopes of replacing a backup computer, which failed on the station’s exterior last week.
The SpaceX Dragon docked to the International Space Station (ISS) early Wednesday morning. Dragon is expected to remain docked to the ISS for 18 months. Dragon shuttled supplied the station with 882 pounds of supplies and researching equipment. As of right now the Space X Dragon functions like a giant Storage Pod you’d find out […]
After a series of setbacks, SpaceX successfully docked its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in late May, the first time ever by a privately owned company. Under the helm of CEO Elon Musk, also CEO of Tesla Motors, the company proved that with a sense of wonder, imagination and incredible feats of engineering, […]