SpaceX Completes Dragon Spacecraft Cargo Loading Milestone
- In Preparation for Delivery Services to International Space Station
SpaceX hosted a group of NASA personnel at its corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, including astronauts Marsha Ivins and Megan McArthur, and other key personnel from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
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The tests covered a range of procedures using actual NASA cargo modules, in a variety of standard sizes, including powered cargo modules that provide temperature control for sensitive items such medical and biological samples during their journey to the ISS, and return to Earth. Dragon is currently one of the only spacecraft in the world capable of transmitting status on environment-sensitive cargo back to Earth during transit to the ISS.
SpaceX performed the tests in an actual flight Dragon spacecraft outfitted with cargo racks, stowage lockers, as well as interior lighting, telemetry and environmental systems, as will be employed while Dragon is berthed at the ISS.
"SpaceX was honored to host the NASA crew, and pleased by their positive feedback and remarks," said John Couluris, SpaceX Director of Mission Operations. "We look forward to the day when the first of many Dragons arrive at the ISS delivering actual cargo in support of continued ISS operations."
Under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, SpaceX will perform three flights of the Dragon spacecraft to demonstrate delivery of cargo to the ISS as well as returning cargo to Earth. Following those flights, SpaceX will begin the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, conducting a minimum of 12 cargo flights between 2010 and 2015 with a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kg to be carried to the ISS.
Source : SpaceX