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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Dragon flies high: NASA’s first private freighter blasts off


The first-ever private supply mission to the International Space Station is underway. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has blasted off, sending the cargo capsule Dragon into orbit.

­The launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral on Sunday is the first of 12 planned missions for the American firm, which signed a $1.6 billion contract with the space agency.

Dragon is carrying 455 kilograms of supplies to the ISS, which it is set to reach on Wednesday. After unloading, the capsule is to return home on October 28, carrying about 330 kilograms of scientific material.

"Everything worked well, the weather stayed good – that was the one concern," aerospace consultant Jeff Foust, editor of The Space Review, said.

"I think this is the first time the Falcon 9 has launched on the very first attempt,"
he added.

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