Commercial space flight company SpaceX’s first contracted cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS) is set for 7 October, according to an announcement by NASA officials yesterday.
SpaceX’s reusable Dragon spacecraft is due to lift off atop the company’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle on that date in order to make the first of twelve cargo runs to the ISS. On board will be 454 kilograms of supplies for the space station, mostly scientific gear for experiments being undertaken in orbit. Dragon is expected to dock with the ISS on 10 October, returning to Earth in late October carrying scientific material and space station hardware.
There are unlikely to be any issues with the launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station but SpaceX has an alternate launch window on 8 October, just in case. This will not be the first flight to the International Space Station for the craft. SpaceX has previously completed a demonstration mission by docking with the ISS, making Dragon the first private spacecraft to do so.