Monday, August 15, 2011
SpaceX's next mission is to the International Space Station.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based private rocket maker said Monday its
Dragon capsule will launch on Nov. 30 on a cargo test run to the
orbiting outpost. SpaceX said the launch will be followed by a station docking more than a week later.
With the space shuttle fleet retired, NASA is depending on private companies like SpaceX to handle space station supply runs and astronaut rides. Until then, the space agency is paying for trips aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Last December, the Dragon capsule made the world's first private
trip to and from orbit. During the test flight, the capsule simulated some of the maneuvers that would be needed for a docking.