Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SpaceX launches Falcon 9/Dragon on historic mission to deliver cargo to International Space Station

Date:
May 22, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into space and delivered a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit on May 22, 2012. The launch began an ambitious mission to show that the company is ready to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to begin a demonstration flight.
Credit: NASA TV

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into space and delivered a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit on May 22, 2012. The launch began an ambitious mission to show that the company is ready to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

"We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated. While there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are off to a good start."

Working with an instantaneous launch window, SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, Calif., proceeded through a flawless countdown. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 3:44 a.m. EDT, just as the station was crossing 249 miles above the North Atlantic.

"Every bit of adrenaline in my body released at that moment," said Elon Musk about the moment the rocket lifted off the pad. Musk is the founder, CEO and chief designer of SpaceX. "People were really giving it their all. For us, it was like winning the Super Bowl."

The launch came three days after the rocket aborted a previous launch attempt. William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, lauded the company for getting the craft ready for the successful launch.

"They stayed focused and kept moving forward," Gerstenmaier said. "Things are moving in the right direction."

Dragon is carrying about 1,200 pounds of supplies for the crew of the station and experiments designed by students. The spacecraft can hold 7,300 pounds of material for delivery to the station, but since this is a test flight, the manifest was limited to important but not critical materials. Food and clothing make up the bulk of the supplies.

The launch put the Dragon on a course to rendezvous with the space station in three days. A detailed series of navigation and other systems tests will be performed in space before the capsule is allowed to move close enough to the station for astronauts to grab it with the robot arm and connect it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

The tests include a careful approach to the station that calls for the spacecraft to pause several times. The space station crew also will show that they can communicate directly with the uncrewed Dragon capsule. If all the testing goes well, they will go ahead with the rendezvous and berthing.

"There's still a thousand things that have to go right, but we are looking forward to this exciting mission," said Alan Lindemoyer, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program.

The Dragon will remain connected to the station for about three weeks, allowing astronauts to empty it before loading used scientific equipment inside for the return to Earth. Reversing the process of connecting the spacecraft to the station, astronauts will use the robotic arm to remove the Dragon capsule. The Dragon will then de-orbit and return to Earth under parachutes, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "SpaceX launches Falcon 9/Dragon on historic mission to deliver cargo to International Space Station." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522082850.htm>.
NASA. (2012, May 22). SpaceX launches Falcon 9/Dragon on historic mission to deliver cargo to International Space Station. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522082850.htm
NASA. "SpaceX launches Falcon 9/Dragon on historic mission to deliver cargo to International Space Station." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522082850.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to International Space Station

May 22, 2012 The SpaceX Dragon capsule, which on Tuesday became the first commercially developed and built spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station, is carrying among its cargo a suite of 15 ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins