SpaceX made history in December when it became the first private company to launch a capsule into orbit and return it to Earth.
SpaceX preps for cargo run to space station The California-based corporation – which is currently upgrading its Dragon cargo capsule for human occupants – has already broken ground on a third launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base for a heavy-lift version of the Falcon rocket.
“The next flight of the Dragon we’re going to go all the way and berth it to the space station, drop cargo off and bring stuff back,” Garrett Reisman, a former astronaut now working with SpaceX, told Reuters.
If the flight is successful, it would mark the beginning of SpaceX’s 12-flight, $1.6 billion station cargo delivery mission.
Meanwhile, NASA rep Dennis Stone said the space agency sees both cargo and crew flight services as “the key” to opening up the full use of the ISS and low-earth orbit, “some [of which] we are talking about and some we have yet to even envision.”
SpaceX is one of two firms hired by NASA to fly cargo to the ISS in America’s post-shuttle era.
Key Dragon specs include: