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Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Initiated internally by SpaceX in 2005, the Dragon spacecraft is made up of a pressurized capsule and unpressurized trunk used for Earth to LEO transport of pressurized cargo, unpressurized cargo, and/or crew members.
The Dragon spacecraft is comprised of 3 main elements: the Nosecone, which protects the vessel and the docking adaptor during ascent; the Spacecraft, which houses the crew and/or pressurized cargo as well as the service section containing avionics, the RCS system, parachutes, and other support infrastructure; and the Trunk, which provides for the stowage of unpressurized cargo and will support Dragon’s solar arrays and thermal radiators.
In December 2008, NASA announced the selection of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) when the Space Shuttle retires. The $1.6 billion contract represents a minimum of 12 flights, with an option to order additional missions for a cumulative total contract value of up to $3.1 billion.
Though designed to address cargo and crew requirements for the ISS, as a free-flying spacecraft Dragon also provides an excellent platform for in-space technology demonstrations and scientific instrument testing. SpaceX is currently manifesting fully commercial, non-ISS Dragon flights under the name “DragonLab”. DragonLab represents an emergent capability for in-space experimentation.
On Saturday, May 19th, SpaceX will become the first commercial company in history to attempt to visit the International Space Station. Watch the action live on SpaceX.com beginning at 1:15 AM Pacific / 4:15 AM Eastern / 08:15 UTC.
For more information on the upcoming demonstration mission, check out the info in our press kit (pdf).
For those on Twitter, be sure to follow @elonmusk this week. He will be tweeting live from mission control during launch.
Next time Dragon sees the sun, it should be doing 17,000 mph over the Atlantic. ~8 hrs to liftoff.
Originally posted by ReleaseThePressure
reply to post by Ahmose
I'm not sure if they did. But even if, anything can happen. Maybe it was a very slight discrepancy. But chances are best not taken in these situations.
ETA: cool sigedit on 19-5-2012 by ReleaseThePressure because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by UberL33t
Aww I was hoping to wake up to a better outcome, ehh maybe next time. Man I miss the shuttle