The first privately built cargo ship will be arriving at the International Space Station later this month. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, said that his unmanned Dragon capsule is scheduled to launch toward the ISS on April 30th.
Space.com reports that if successful, Musk’s SpaceX will be the first private company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
Don Pettit, of NASA, and Andre Kuipers, of the European Space Agency, will have the responsibility of docking the Dragon capsule with the ISS using the space station’s robotic arm.
“We’re just now starting to get up to speed on training for this event, and we have two primary means of training: fly the actual arm … and then right here, we’ve got two space station computers which double as an arm simulator.”
Mike Horkachuck, NASA’s project executive for SpaceX, said that the mission is a big step for the company and for space exploration. Horkachuck told Space Travel:
“It’s almost like the lead-up to Apollo, in my mind. You had Mercury then you had Gemini and eventually you had Apollo. This would be similar in the sense that, we’re not going to the moon or anything as spectacular as that, but we are in the beginnings of commercializing space. This may be the Mercury equivalent to eventually flying crew and then eventually leading to, in the long run, passenger travel in space.”
Horkachuck added that the Dragon Capsule won’t be carrying anything vital for the International Space Station. This is more of a test run before SpaceX starts to launch regular supply runs to the station.
Musk recently appeared on “The Daily Show” to talk about SpaceX and the future commercialization of space.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|