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Falcon 9 launches Dragon on test flight to ISS
Posted: Tue, May 22, 2012, 6:29 AM ET (1029 GMT)
Falcon 9 launch of Dragon on COTS C2+ mission (NASA/KSC) A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft on a test flight to the International Space Station early Tuesday. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:44 am EDT (0744 GMT) and placed the Dragon spacecraft into low Earth orbit, where it immediately deployed its solar panels. The Dragon will spend the next two days approaching the ISS; once there, it will maneuver around the station before approaching the station to be berthed to the station's Harmony node. A successful test flight would allow SpaceX to begin regular missions to the ISS, delivering cargo for the station and returning items back to Earth. The launch was previously scheduled for Saturday but scrubbed at the last second due to a problem with one of the nine engines in the Falcon 9's first stage.
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