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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX's Debut Launch of Private Space Capsule Slips to Dec. 7


WASHINGTON — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has postponed a planned Nov. 20 launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule to no earlier than Dec. 7, according to a company news release.

"SpaceX is targeting December 7th for the first-ever fight of our Dragon spacecraft, with the 8th and 9th as backup dates," Kirstin Brost, a spokeswoman for the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company, said in a Nov. 8 e-mail. "We are submitting our request to the [U.S.] Air Force today."

The flight, a demonstration of the medium-class rocket and Dragon cargo ship being developed under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, was originally slated to occur in September 2008. SpaceX's COTS agreement was later modified to reflect a June 2009 initial demonstration flight.

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