SpaceX`s next cargo mission to space station is March 16

Last Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 12:03

Washington: The next cargo supply mission to the International Space Station by the US company SpaceX has been set for March 16, NASA said Wednesday.

SpaceX`s unmanned Dragon capsule will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4:41 am (0941 GMT) on its third trip ferrying supplies and equipment to the orbiting lab, the US space agency said in a tweet.

Owned by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX became the first commercial entity to reach the space station with its Dragon cargo ship in 2012.
The company has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for a series of future supply missions.

The Dragon, a reusable, gumdrop-shaped capsule, became the first commercial spacecraft to reach the ISS in 2012.

Since then, Orbital Sciences has also successfully reached the space lab with its own beer-keg shaped Cygnus spacecraft, which delivers similar loads of cargo but then burns up on re-entry to Earth`s atmosphere.

Orbital has a contract with NASA worth $1.9 billion for eight cargo resupply missions to the global space lab.
The pair of private companies have restored the United States` ability to reach the ISS after the retirement of the 30-year space shuttle program in 2011.

Both capsules can carry thousands of pounds of gear, including hardware, equipment and science experiments.

AFP

First Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 12:03

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