Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dragon is Ready for Launch!

 A company known as SpaceX has built a spacecraft and rocket to carry supplies and people up to the International Space Station. This is significant due to the fact that never before have we been this close to starting a private space travel industry. This upcoming trip scheduled for April 30th, 2012 and will only be carrying cargo this time. The cargo is only going to be supplies for the astronauts and future customers.

Falcon 9 1st Demo Launch
The spacecraft is named Dragon and has only ever seen one test launch so this cargo transport is mostly a test. 1200 pounds of material will be transported to the International Space Station (ISS) and the craft will return to Earth. If this test is successful then the Dragon will be making regular runs to the ISS. The test are extremely nerve wrecking as launching something over 17,000 mph at a target that is very small can be an extremely difficult task. 

The Dragon is actually propelled by a rocket which was also built by SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket has seen 2 previous launches and is also very new. In December 2011, the Falcon 9's second launch, which included the Dragon spacecraft for its first time, it made history as being the first ever launch of a privately built and operated spacecraft to to be launched to Earths orbit and then also recovered.

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