SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Launching to Space Station This Week

May 13, 2013 – 09:36 am

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule attached to the International Space Station during a robotic cargo mission to the orbiting outpost.
Credit: NASA

The private spaceflight company SpaceX is planning to launch their fourth official unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station this week. SpaceX's robotic Dragon capsule is now expected to launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting outpost on Saturday (Sept. 20). Dragon was initially expected to launch on Friday (Sept. 19), however, rocket preparations delayed the launch by one day, according to NASA officials.

The launch is now scheduled for Saturday at 1:15 a.m. EDT (0515 Sept. 21 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If the rocket launch is postponed, mission controllers have the option to try again the next day at 1:53 a.m. EDT (0553 Sept. 22 GMT), NASA officials said.

SpaceX's capsule will be packed full of more than 5, 000 lbs. (2, 270 kilograms) of material for the crewmembers onboard the station. This mission — called SpaceX CRS-4 — is expected to deliver the first 3D printer to the space station. It is also carrying a new Earth-observing instrument, ISS-RapidScat that will help forecasters on the ground monitor potentially severe weather from space. [The Rockets and Spaceships of SpaceX (Photos)]

Quiz: How Well Do You Know SpaceX's Dragon Spaceship?

The spaceflight company SpaceX is one of several firms building private space taxis and cargo ships to launch astronauts and supplies into space. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye. Test your SpaceX know-how here.

0 of 10 questions complete

The spaceflight company SpaceX is one of several firms building private space taxis and cargo ships to launch astronauts and supplies into space. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye. Test your SpaceX know-how here.

0 of questions complete

SpaceX CRS-4 is the fourth of 12 missions the private spaceflight company is contracted to fly to the space station with NASA under a $1.6 billion agreement. The spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. also penned a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to fly eight cargo missions to the station using its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft.


Source: www.space.com

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