Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Jason Davis headshot v.2

SpaceX ready for return to International Space Station

Posted by Jason Davis

25-09-2012 24:01 CDT

Topics: private spaceflight, human spaceflight, International Space Station

SpaceX is two weeks away from returning to the International Space Station. Following a successful demo flight in May, NASA is entrusting the private spaceflight company with a half-ton of mission-critical station cargo.

Cargo Resupply Services 1 (CRS-1) is scheduled to begin Sunday, October 7, when a Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:34 PM EDT (0:34 UTC). Once in orbit, a Dragon capsule will begin a three-day chase to the station, arriving three days later on October 10.

Dragon grappled by ISS

NASA TV

Dragon grappled by ISS
In this screen grab from NASA TV, the Dragon spacecraft is seen shortly after the moment of capture by the International Space Station's Canadarm2, marking a milestone in both the COTS 2 flight and commercial space history.

Expedition 33 NASA Commander Sunita Williams and JAXA's Aki Hoshide will snag Dragon with Canadarm 2 and guide it to the station's Harmony node for berthing. The capsule will take up residence through most of October, before being stuffed with more than a ton of return science materials and space station hardware. Splashdown will occur off the California coast in the Pacific Ocean.

Aboard Dragon for the trip to ISS will be 63 new science experiments, more than a third of the 166 total investigations planned for Expedition 33, which lasts through mid-November. One experiment involves Arabidopsis, commonly referred to as thale cress, a small flowering plant. NASA says about 50 percent of a plant's energy is spent just to hold itself upright, and the JAXA-sponsored experiment will aim to see how genetically-modified Arabidopsis behaves in microgravity. The results of the experiment could have implications for future genetically-engineered crop growth.

CRS-1 is the first of 12 scheduled flights that SpaceX will conduct for NASA, replacing a transportation capability that was lost when the space shuttles were retired.

 
See other posts from September 2012

 

Or read more blog entries about: private spaceflight, human spaceflight, International Space Station

Comments:

bware: 09/27/2012 03:34 CDT

Best wishes for a successful flight Space-X!!!

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Advocacy

Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 19,000 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

Orion parachute test, drop day
Orion parachute test, drop day
Orion parachute test, Yuma, Arizona
Rosetta flies by an asteroid
More Images

Featured Video

Bill Nye & Neil DeGrasse Tyson on a Roof

Watch Now

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!