SpaceX CRS-1 was the first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. It was launched at 8:35PM EDT Sunday, October 7 from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. This was the first private contracted NASA mission to the ISS.
AMAZING PICTURE…..SpaceX’s Dragon at Port.
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is seen shortly after arriving at a port near Los Angeles on 30 October, 2012. Dragon had just completed SpaceX CRS-1, its first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station and returned 1,673 pounds of science and supplies back to Earth.
Dragon was filled with about 1,000 pounds of supplies, including critical materials to support the 166 investigations planned for the station’s Expedition 33 crew, of which 63 were new. Dragon will return with about 734 pounds of scientific materials, including results from human research, biotechnology, materials and education experiments, as well as about 504 pounds of space station hardware.
SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft
In December 2008, NASA announced that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft had been selected to resupply the space station after the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. Under the CRS contract, SpaceX restores American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory – a capability not available since the retirement of the space shuttle.
Building on Success
Prior to this flight, SpaceX successfully completed two demonstration flights using Falcon 9 and Dragon under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The second of those missions (from May 22–31, 2012) marked the first time that a private company had launched a spacecraft into orbit, successfully attached to the station, delivered a payload and returned safely to Earth, a highly challenging technical feat previously accomplished only by governments.
The first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract was launched on Sunday, October 7, 2012 on a Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX Falcon 9 launches to the International Space Station.
The launch of the Dragon spacecraft was the first of 12 contracted flights by SpaceX to resupply the space station and marked the second trip by a Dragon to the station, following a successful demonstration mission in May 2012.
Dragon arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, 10 October, when it was grappled and berthed to the complex for an expected two week visit.
Dragon delivered 882 pounds of supplies to the orbiting laboratory, including 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and several pounds of other supplies.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm by the Expedition 33 crew at 9:29 am EDT on Sunday, 28 October, 2012. It was attached to the International Space Station for 18 days. Dragon returned a total of 1,673 pounds, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research and 518 pounds of vehicle hardware and other hardware.
SpaceX Dragon CRS-1 Mission Patch
SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule returned to Earth on Sunday 28 October and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:22 pm EDT Sunday about 250 miles off the coast of Baja California.
The next SpaceX flight is scheduled for early March 2013: SpaceX CRS-2 – second contracted resupply mission.
Did you know?
* Falcon 9 rocket is a medium lift launch vehicle and is responsible for taking the Dragon capsule into orbit.
* As of 2012, Dragon is the only space station cargo craft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.
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SpaceX CRS-1 Links and References:
- SpaceX Launches to the International Space Station: NASA – image reference.
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