Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SpaceX Launches Private Capsule on Historic Trip to Space Station

Date: 22 May 2012 Time: 03:46 AM ET



SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches over space shuttle mockup.
SpaceX's first space station-bound Dragon spacecraft, flying atop a Falcon 9 rocket, launches behind a high fidelity mockup of the space shuttle, NASA's previous means of delivering cargo to International Space Station. Liftoff occurred on May 22, 2012 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
CREDIT: Robert Pearlman/collectSPACE.com




CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A private space capsule called Dragon soared into the predawn sky Tuesday, riding a pillar of flame like its beastly namesake on a history-making trip to the International Space Station.
The unmanned capsule, built by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), is the first non-governmental spacecraft to launch to the space station, ushering in a new era of partnership between the public and private spaceflight programs.

"I think this is an example of American entrepreneurship at its best," said Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of NASA's commercial crew and cargo program, in a briefing before the launch. About 100 VIP guests were on hand to witness the launch, NASA officials said.

MORE & LAUNCH VIDEO: http://www.space.com/15805-spacex-private-capsule-launches-space-station.html

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gaw

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