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Private space mission tonite

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

A lot depends on the weather but if all goes well tonight, the first privately contracted supply mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to get under way. California-based SpaceX will attempt to send a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab and its three-member crew. It’s already done it once, but that was considered a test flight, not part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for a dozen resupply missions. Liftoff is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. EDT. Forecasters put the odds of acceptable weather at 60 percent. Thick clouds and rain are the main concerns. The Dragon is also scheduled to bring back used equipment and experiments. Unlike Russian cargo ships, the Dragon parachutes to earth for recovery. This newest Dragon will haul about 1,000 pounds of food, clothes and gear, including ice cream. The capsule will remain docked to the space station for most of October.


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