New Era Of Space Travel – NASA SpaceX Launch

Space travelNASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off successfully from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday night, marking a new era of space travel for the American space program.

The rocket, which carried the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft lifted off at 8:35 p.m. Sunday, heading for a meeting with the International Space Station.

The air craft is expected to arrive on Wednesday and will deliver 1,000 pounds of cargo to the astronauts living there.

In May, it successfully completed a trial cargo flight to the space station. Sunday marked the companies’ first official re-supply mission as part of a four-year, $1.6 billion contract to launch 12 mission operations to the space station.

According to NASA, around 15 minutes following the launch, Dragon reached its intended orbit of 212 miles above the earth. It also used sunlight to power its systems by opening two solar arrays.

Once the air craft arrives, the space station commander, Suni Williams (astronaut), will use the space craft’s robotic arm to connect to a port so astronauts can get to the cargo and unload it.

After the equipment is loaded, the astronauts will then load the spacecraft with almost 2,000 pounds of used experiments and equipment. The SpaceX Dragon will come back to earth in around three weeks.

In the summer of 2011, NASA retired its fleet of space shuttles, so now it depends on firms like SpaceX to deliver cargo and astronauts to and from the space station.

Meanwhile, engineers at NASA are focused on future space travel by building high-powered robotics and engines, while they prepare for missions to Mars, the moon, or asteroids.

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