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Space X blasts off for another space station run today

first_imgAs NASA continues to creep along with a limited budget and no launch vehicle of its own, the role of private space companies is sure to increase. We looked on with understandable respect when Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully docked the Dragon orbital capsule at the International Space Station (ISS) back in May. Now SpaceX is preparing to do it again, but this time it’s all business.The last launch in May was mostly a test run. The unmanned Dragon capsule was run through its paces, simulating mission aborts and testing its various systems. It carried some cargo, but not a full load. This time, it will be filled with about 1,000 lbs of much needed supplies for the ISS crew. This is the first flight in a contract SpaceX has entered into with NASA after the success of the last mission. There will be 12 flights in all under this contract, with the option for more if all goes well.The Dragon capsule will be loaded into SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket just like last time, and like last time, the entire mission is going to be remotely controlled. There is a single launch window available at 8:35pm tonight, October 7 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If SpaceX cannot lift off at that time, there are backup timeslots planned on October 8 and 9.SpaceX won’t just be delivering supplies, though. For its return trip, Dragon will be loaded up with 504 lbs of scientific materials from experiments performed on the station. We might not have the Space Shuttle anymore, but it’s looking like SpaceX might be standing in quite well for cargo runs. The company has plans to send people up in the Dragon at some point in the future.via NASAlast_img

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