NASA hails new era in spaceMay 23rd, 2012 - 5:59 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 23 (IANS) NASA head Charles Bolden has hailed a “new era” in exploration after the launch of the first cargo delivery to the space station Tuesday by a private company, BBC reported.
On board the California-based company’s own Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon capsule rocketed into the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
In his reaction over the launch, Bolden said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era in exploration… The significance of this day cannot be overstated; a private company has launched a spacecraft to the International Space Station that will attempt to dock there for the first time.
“And while there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are certainly off to good start.”
The Falcon rocket, topped by an unmanned Dragon freight capsule, lifted clear of its Florida pad at 7.44 GMT. The launch system has been built by California-based firm SpaceX.
The initial climb to an altitude some 340 km above the Earth lasted a little under 10 minutes.
The test flight was originally scheduled for April 30. But it had been delayed several times due to technical glitches and checks of the spacecraft’s flight software.
The bell-shaped Dragon capsule is 19 feet tall and 12 feet across. It carries more than 450 kg of cargo, mostly food and clothing.
The Dragon will reach the space station Thursday and undergo a series of orbital manoeuvres and equipment checks to make sure the craft can be controlled.
- First private spacecraft launched to space station - May 22, 2012
- First private spacecraft launch to ISS delayed - Apr 25, 2012
- First commercial spacecraft docks with space station - May 26, 2012
- Private capsule to launch cargo to space station - Sep 21, 2012
- US private firm aborts launch to space station - May 19, 2012
- SpaceX unveils plans for world's most powerful rocket - Apr 06, 2011
- Private US spacecraft lands in Pacific Ocean - Jun 01, 2012
- Private spacecraft to make second supply run to ISS - Aug 24, 2012
- SpaceX's Dragon's Maiden Journey Ends Successfully - Dec 09, 2010
- Paypal Millionaire's Rocket Launch Proves To Be Beneficial For NASA - Jun 06, 2010
- Falcon 9 Reaches Orbit, SpaceX Calls It A Grand Success - Jun 05, 2010
- NASA awards launch services contract for IRIS mission - Jun 09, 2010
- Round-trip flights to Mars within a decade - Mar 22, 2012
- NASA presents new launch system with eye on Mars - Sep 15, 2011
- Space taxis: Bold new era or death of manned exploration? - Mar 09, 2010
Tags: altitude, bbc, cape canaveral air, cape canaveral air force station, cargo delivery, charles bolden, equipment checks, falcon, flight software, international space station, launch system, manoeuvres, nasa, nasa head, new era, private company, several times, spacecraft, technical glitches, test flight