Private spacecraft to make second supply run to ISS

August 24th, 2012 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) US private company SpaceX will launch its Dragon space freighter on a next resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in October.

It will be the first of the company’s 12 commercial flights to the ISS under a 2008 contract with the NASA as the initial successful mission in May was considered a test run.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden announced that SpaceX is now fully certified to deliver cargo to the orbital station.

The Dragon is a reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX to fly cargo to the ISS after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

NASA also awarded SpaceX a commercial crew development contract in April 2011 to develop a reusable spacecraft to carry up to seven astronauts, or a combination of personnel and cargo, to and from the orbital station.

At present, NASA pays Russia $63 million for every astronaut who flies to the ISS aboard Soyuz spacecraft.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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