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The Dragon spacecraft, held by the ISS manipulator arm (Image: NASA)

Well, it’s official. Just moments ago, the SpaceX Dragon became the first-ever privately-made spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS). “The International Space Station Expedition 31 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station's robotic arm at 9:56 AM EDT,” NASA has stated. “The feat came 3 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds after the mission's launch. The station was 251 miles over northwest Australia when capture occurred.”  Read More

A view of the Dragon spacecraft, as seen from the International Space Station today (Photo...

After launching this Tuesday at 3:44 Eastern Daylight Time, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is now in its third day of low-Earth orbit. The company reports that everything has been going smoothly so far, with “a series of milestones” having been set as the vehicle approaches the International Space Station (ISS).  Read More

Liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon/Falcon 9 mission to the ISS (Photo: NASA)

In a stunning nightime launch at 3:44 Eastern Daylight Time, Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has sent the Dragon spacecraft into orbit on its way to a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon will deliver about 460 kilograms of cargo, including food, disposables, several nanocubes for small-scale experimentation and blocks of ice.  Read More

The Dragon spacecraft that will be used to take passengers to the orbiting Bigelow habitat...

SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace (BA) have joined forces in an attempt to woo international customers looking to enjoy some extended periods of microgravity. The joint marketing effort will push trips to orbiting Bigelow habitats on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft using the Falcon launch vehicle.  Read More

Today, SpaceX performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's nine Merlin en...

Private space exploration company SpaceX is currently looking towards May 7th as the rescheduled date for its Dragon space capsule to lift off from Earth, on an unmanned Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demo mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Today, the company performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s nine Merlin engines. The test took place at SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and was part of a full dress rehearsal for the actual launch.  Read More

The trial crew (from left): NASA Crew Survival Engineering Team Lead Dustin Gohmert, NASA ...

With the space shuttle program now officially over, the United States needs a new reusable vehicle for getting supplies to and from the International Space Station. NASA is considering the Dragon spacecraft, designed by California-based SpaceX Exploration Technologies, to take over that role. The Dragon’s scheduled late March/early April test flight to the ISS will be unmanned, utilizing a cargo configuration of the spacecraft. Last Friday, however, SpaceX released photographs of an engineering model of of its planned seven-passenger crew cabin, complete with a crew that included real live astronauts.  Read More

The goal is to make all parts of the Dragon reusable and capable of returning to Earth und...

The private spaceflight company SpaceX declared that 2012 would be the "Year of the Dragon" - a play on the current cycle of the Chinese calendar and the upcoming tests of SpaceX's Dragon space capsule. For a time, it seemed as if SpaceX was regretting that slogan. Dragon was chosen as one of five competitors for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contest to develop a cargo/passenger craft to service the International Space Station. The Dragon program had enjoyed considerable success and was scheduled to be the first private spacecraft to visit and, if all went well, dock with the International Space Station (ISS). Unfortunately, with the need for more testing of the Dragon capsule delaying the launch from its original February 7, 2012 date to late March or even into April, it looked as though the Year of the Dragon was starting a bit late.  Read More

SpaceX has test-fired its advanced new SuperDraco engine, to be used on the Dragon spacecr...

SpaceX, the California company that is developing the reusable Dragon spacecraft, recently test-fired its new SuperDraco engine. Presently, the Dragon capsule is equipped with less-advanced Draco engines, which are designed for maneuvering the spacecraft while in orbit and during reentry. The SuperDraco, however, is intended to allow the astronauts to escape if an emergency occurs during the launch.  Read More

SpaceX Reusable Launch Vehicle - stage 1 landing on the launch pad

SpaceX, the space transport company that made history by building the world's first private reusable spacecraft, is now embarking on a quest to build the holy grail of space engineering - a reusable launch rocket. Elon Musk, the company's CEO and Chief Technology Officer, announced recently at the National Press Club that computer simulations show their design to be technically feasible. This, Musk seems to suggests, is great news for those who have been considering moving to Mars.  Read More

The International Space Station, with Soyuz-TMA capsules visible (Image: NASA)

It's a challenging time for the International Space Station (ISS). The single most expensive engineering project in human history and one of the most complex pieces of machinery ever assembled, the future of the ISS remains uncertain after the ending of the Space Shuttle program and the grounding of Russia's Soyuz fleet following an accident last month. While the recently announced resumption of manned Soyuz flights means the danger of the station being evacuated and mothballed has receded ... it hasn’t ended.  Read More

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