Skooter reporting 10/08/12
The California-base SpaceX company’s commercial cargo ship roared into orbit Sunday in quest of the International Space Station, the first of a dozen supply runs under a mega-contract with NASA. It was the second launch of a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab, the first was last spring.
This was no test flight, it’s for real; the spacecraft carried 1,000 pounds of key science experiments and other costly equipment on this genuinely operational mission. Aside from those, there was also a personal touch such as chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream slipped in a freezer for the three station residents.
The SpaceX’s unmanned Falcon rocket soared into the night sky right on schedule, putting the spacecraft on track to reach the space station Wednesday. The complex was soaring over southwest of Tasmania when the Falcon took flight.
The launching was a success, officials declared, even with a problem with one of the nine first-stage engines. The rocket put Dragon in its planned course, said the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of SpaceX, Elon Musk.