Thursday, May 24, 2012

SpaceX Commercial Spacecraft Makes History With 1st Space Station Flyby

A private spaceship on its first trip to the International Space Station made a flyby of the orbiting laboratory early Thursday (May 24), zipping just below the outpot in an unprecedented space first.

The unmanned vehicle, called Dragon, is built by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), and is the first commercial spacecraft ever launched toward the space station. During the rendezvous, the spacecraft approached within 1.6 miles (2.5 km) of the outpost. Dragon launched to orbit from Cape Canaveral, Fla., early Tuesday (May 22) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is due to arrive at the station on Friday (May 25).

Today is a final testing day for the capsule before it can be cleared to attempt its first docking. Crewmembers inside the orbiting lab have been monitoring the vehicle’s activities.

“We all look forward to it,” space station Expedition 31 flight engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency said this morning. “We will dedicate today to Dragon.”

Full article: http://www.space.com … e-station-flyby.html



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