Commercial rocket will fly to the space station
Posted: 05/17/2012 03:32:07 PM PDT
Updated: 05/17/2012 03:32:07 PM PDT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- For the first time, a private company will launch a rocket to the International Space Station, sending it on a grocery run this weekend that could be the shape of things to come for America's space program.If this unmanned flight and others like it succeed, commercial spacecraft could be ferrying astronauts to the orbiting outpost within five years.
It's a transition that has been in the works since the middle of the last decade, when President George W. Bush decided to retire the space shuttle and devote more of NASA's energies to venturing deeper into space.
Saturday's flight by billionaire Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies is "a thoroughly exciting moment in the history of spaceflight, but is just the beginning of a new way of doing business for NASA," said John Holdren, President Barack Obama's chief science advise.
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