Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on October 7, 2012...beginning the CRS-1 mission.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

A New Era Begins... At 5:35 PM, Pacific Daylight Time today, SpaceX launched the first of twelve Dragon vehicles that will officially deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) over the next couple of years, as contracted by NASA. Known as CRS-1, this mission will culminate with a docking at the ISS this Wednesday (October 10)...and end with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on October 28. 882 pounds worth of payload were launched into space inside the latest spaceborne Dragon; 1,673 pounds of cargo will return to Earth aboard the capsule three weeks from now. A new era of commercial spaceflight has commenced.

A thousand employees at SpaceX Headquarters in California watch as the Dragon CRS-1 mission gets underway on October 7, 2012.

More than ten minutes after launch, one of Dragon's twin solar arrays flawlessly unfurls in Earth orbit, on October 7, 2012.

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