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February 25 – March 3, 2013 / Vol 32, No 8 / Hawai`i Island, USA

22 Feb 2013, 21:52 UTC
February 25 – March 3, 2013 / Vol 32, No 8 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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SpaceX CRS-2 Launch, Continuing Commercial Enterprise in Space

The Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch the Dragon spacecraft with 575 kg of cargo to the ISS on March 1 at 10:10 EST from Cape Canaveral AFS Florida, USA. Its success will mark the 2nd commercial resupply mission out of 12 under a US$1.6B NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. The capsule, expected to reach the ISS Mar 2, will be captured with the Harmony Node robotic arm being manipulated by Commander Kevin Ford (R) and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn (L). It is scheduled for a Pacific Ocean splashdown Mar 25 and will carry about 1,043 kg of equipment and science samples back to Earth. The 3rd resupply mission is scheduled September 30. SpaceX is also developing the Falcon Heavy rocket which will meet NASA human rating standards and include three Falcon 9 first stages, each with 9 upgraded Merlin 1D engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, under a US$1.9B contract for 8 commercial resupply flights, is working toward its 1st test flight to the ISS with the Antares rocket / Cygnus cargo freighter scheduled for June. CRS contracts stimulate the market for private LEO space transportation services and ...

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