SpaceX Falcon Rocket Launches – Carrying Supplies to ISS


At 8:35PM Sunday night a Space Explorations Technologies Corp (SpaceX)  Falcon 9 Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral.   The rocket carried the Dragon spacecraft which is carrying a payload of 882 pounds that according to the NASA website includes ” 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and several pounds of other supplies. Dragon will return a total of 1,673 pounds of supplies, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research, 518 pounds of vehicle hardware and other hardware”.   It’s the first NASA contracted cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station.  “Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, SpaceX will fly at least 12 cargo missions to the space station through 2016. The contract is worth $1.6 billion”.  This contract allows the US to get back in to the function of resupplying the Space Station, a year after the Space Shuttle Program was retired.  It’s a large step for NASA which is in a position to earn revenue that will help fund future projects including a complete upgrade of the NASA facilities, and an eventual manned mission to Mars.  What commercial spacecraft agreements also allow, are cost-effective, safe and reliable missions to and from the ISS.  This and other commercial agreements does not in any way suggest NASA is out of the Spacecraft development business.  In fact, “while NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop and advance these commercial spaceflight capabilities, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration in the solar system”.   The Future of NASA and spaceflight in this country is moving full speed ahead with many great projects and endeavours on the radar. Visit the NASA website at www.NASA.gov.

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