If all goes well, the Dragon Space Capsule rocket will be launched today from Cape Canaveral around 9:00AM EST. The rocket will carry supplies and astronauts into earth orbit to the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Dragon Rocket launch was a success today at Cape Canaveral.
It is designed to replace the aging space shuttle to resupply the International Space Station and cement mankind’s future in space.
Today’s launch will be a test of the Falcon rocket being used to launch the capsule into space.
Californian company SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to resupply the International Space Station through to 2016.
This new deal signals the beginning of a cooperative between NASA and the private sector to shift more of the burden of transporting materials and people into space away from the beleaguered publicly funded administration.
Many are skeptical of the test flight.
Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial space flight development at Nasa, said, “I want to emphasize this is a test flight. It is not in any way an indictment for or against the overall program if you have anomalies.”
The spaceship is expected to complete almost two orbits of the Earth while demonstrating its capabilities.
Dragon will then splashdown off the coast of Mexico if all goes well during its re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
President Obama sees commercial ships ferrying astronauts and supplies to places like the space station, while NASA diverts more of its resources to exploring the outer solar system.
SpaceX has spent almost $600 million dollars on developing the new spacecraft and expects to carry people into space within three years.