SpaceX will launch a private Dragon space capsule on Sunday night, delivering the first big privatized cargo shipment to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch was approved by NASA less than one week after SpaceX successfully tested the rocket’s engines during a simulated test fire sequence.
The Dragon capsule will be the second official launch for SpaceX after it delivered non-essential items to the ISS in May 2012. SpaceX is currently under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, a contract that includes 12 resupply missions to the station.
In a Twitter update on Sunday, @SpaceX tweeted:
“Are you ready to hear the (hash)Dragon roar!” SpaceX said in a Twitter update.”
The liftoff, which takes place at 8:25 pm, started prepping on Sunday morning as SpaceX engineers lifted the Falcon rocket onto the launch pad. The Falcon Rocket is used to propel the Dragon capsule into space.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule will deliver nearly 1,000 pounds of food, clothes, equipment. and experiments to the International Space Station. By 2015. the company hopes to equip a Dragon Capsule with the necessary technology to transport American astronauts to the ISS.
During this round of delivery, the Dragon capsule will deliver its goods and then return other goods to Earth when it parachutes into the Pacific at the end of October.
Return entry of goods is a big selling point for the Dragon capsule; other cargo ships used by Japan, Russia, and other European countries burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Here is a tweet @SpaceX sent out which shows the Falcon rocket being put into place for its launch:
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 7, 2012
Will you be watching the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it completes its launch sequence and heads towards the International Space Station?