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SpaceX Dragon capsule makes first commercial space cargo delivery to the International Space Station

One News Page Staff
Wednesday, 10 October 2012

SpaceX Dragon capsule makes first commercial space cargo delivery to the International Space Stationby

SpaceX has made the first-ever commercial space delivery to the International Space Station with its cargo ship Dragon

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL -- California-based SpaceX, a private company which has won a $1.6-billion contract from NASA to make cargo deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS) has successfully delivered nearly 1,000 pounds of supplies to the orbital outpost.

"CRS-1", the first official commercial re-supply mission, saw SpaceX's cargo ship, called Dragon, link up with the ISS 250 miles above Earth on Wednesday.

As Dragon slowly approached the orbiting lab, astronauts aboard the ISS captured the cargo vessel with a robot arm.

"Looks like we've tamed the Dragon," reported space station commander Sunita Williams. "We're happy she's on board with us."

Over the next days, astronauts will unload Dragon's cargo, including food and supplies for the crew, scientific equipment and materials as well as other assorted supplies.

After that, the crew will reload the capsule with 1,700 pounds of cargo to return to Earth.

Although the ISS supply mission is a success, the SpaceX launch on Sunday night was not flawless. One minute and 19 seconds after Dragon's rocket carrier, Falcon 9, took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, one of thee nine engines failed. SpaceX later confirmed that it had "lost pressure suddenly". A video showed debris flying off from the engine at that time.

The failure caused a communications satellite made by Orbcommm, which was carried as a secondary payload, to be placed "into an orbit that was lower than intended," but the cargo delivery to the ISS was successful.
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