SpaceX , First Commercial Flight to ISS, Lifts Off From Cape
The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket/Dragon space capsule, a private venture, launched successfully at 3:44 a.m. from Cape Canaveral.
Dragon, an undertaking by billionaire Elon Musk, is the first nongovernmental spacecraft launched to the International Space Station.
A number of in-orbit test maneuvers are still needed for NASA to approve the mission to dock with the ISS.
SpaceX -- formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. -- is seeking to become the first to show that a private venture can handle the supply task and other tasks for the space station, the results of which would be a $1.6 billion contract to provide at least 12 flights for NASA.
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