SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carries Dragon cargo capsule into orbit for International Space StationSpaceX, made history on Sunday evening by successfully launching the first commercial cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch went according to plan (update: aside from an engine anomaly) from Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carried the reusable Dragon spacecraft into orbit and deployed it for the ISS, where Dragon will attach and deliver cargo beginning October 10th. Dragon is slated to return to Earth on October 28, with supplies in tow.
"We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission," said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of SpaceX, in a statement from the company. "We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon's approach to the space station. But we are thrilled that Dragon was launched successfully into its intended orbit."
This is the first of many missions planned to the space station under SpaceX's contract with NASA. Check out video of the launch below.
Cape Canaveral, FL -- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) today successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on the first official cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch went off on schedule at 8:35 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The SpaceX CRS-1 mission marks the first of at least 12 SpaceX missions to the space station under the company's cargo resupply contract with NASA. On board the Dragon spacecraft are materials to support investigations planned for the station's Expedition 33 crew, as well as crew supplies and space station hardware.
Dragon -- the only space station cargo craft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth -- will return with scientific materials and space station hardware.
Dragon will now chase the space station before beginning a series of burns that will bring it into close proximity to the station. If all goes well, Dragon will attach to the complex on October 10 and spend over two weeks there before an expected return to Earth on October 28.
"We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission," said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technical Officer, SpaceX. "We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon's approach to the space station. But we are thrilled that Dragon was launched successfully into its intended orbit."
The CRS-1 mission follows a historic demonstration flight last May when SpaceX's Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to attach to the space station, exchange cargo, and return safely to Earth. The flight signaled restoration of American capability to resupply the space station, not possible since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.
SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. Today, SpaceX is advancing the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners. The company has more than 1,800 employees in California, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Florida. For more information, visit SpaceX.com.