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SpaceX targets October 7 for first cargo mission to ISS
Posted: Mon, Sep 24, 2012, 8:27 AM ET (1227 GMT)
Dragon grappled by ISS on COTS C2+ mission (NASA) NASA and SpaceX announced late last week that they are planning to launch the first operational commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station on October 7. A Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled for launch at 8:34 pm EDT October 7 (0034 GMT October 8) from Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft will carry a light load of only about 450 kilograms of cargo to the ISS and will bring back about 560 kilograms of scientific materials and space station hardware. The mission will be the first of 12 cargo missions that NASA has contracted with SpaceX to support the ISS. It comes after SpaceX successfully demonstrated the ability of Dragon to safely travel to and from the station on a test flight in May under the COTS program. The other commercial cargo provider, Orbital Sciences Corporation, is expected to launch its Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a test flight by the end of this year.
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