Space X has successfully launched a Dragon capsule into space… again. After the company’s historical test flight in May, it blasted another capsule into the skies today for the first of twelve scheduled trips to carry equipment and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
The first commercial resupply mission (SpaceX CRS-1) craft took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida filled with everything from clothing and chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream to materials required for upcoming micro-gravity experiments planned by the crew on board the ISS. Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket jettisoned the capsule just under 10 minutes into the flight, leaving Dragon to deploy its solar arrays and navigate to the space station.
“We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission,” said Elon Musk, Space X’s CEO and Chief Technical Officer. “We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon’s approach to the space station. But the launch was an unqualified success.”
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 8, 2012
Falcon 9 rocket booster has delivered Dragon to its target orbit!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 8, 2012
The launch marks Space X’s first operational flight since being awarded the supply contract with NASA after it retired its space shuttle programme in 2011. Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the ISS on Wednesday, and will return to earth (via a splash-landing off the coast of California) on October 28 with results from scientific experiments and hardware from the space station.