SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Completes Testing, Demonstration Session

[Satellite TODAY 02-04-10] SpaceX has completed a three-day demonstration and testing session of cargo loading and unloading procedures for its Dragon spacecraft, which NASA has contracted to provide delivery services to the International Space Station (ISS) starting in 2010, the company announced Feb. 3.
    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 as medical and biological samples during their journey to the ISS, and return to Earth. 
     The Dragon spacecraft is designed for launch on SpaceX’s medium-to-heavy lift Falcon 9 rocket.
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 contract, conducting a minimum of 12 cargo flights between 2010 and 2015 with a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kilograms to be carried to the ISS.

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