SpaceX Ready to Launch Dragon
As per recent reports, it has been revealed that SpaceX is going to launch its Dragon capsule on April 30, 2012. SpaceX's Company President Gwynne Shotwell said that the unmanned cargo will be going to the International Space Station, which means that it will someday act as an economic option for astronauts, who want to travel to space.
Shotwell said that their Capsule will dock with the ISS on May 3 and it will be like the Russian Progress and European ATV cargo capsules as it is also unmanned. It will also be completing its orbital functions through autonomous computer control.
Dragon is made to hold 13,000 pounds of cargo and seven crew members. Not only this, there is another advantage of Dragon, which is generally not present in other unmanned capsules and that advantage is that it is reusable.
Other capsules including Russiaâ€™s Soyuz are meant in such a way that they get empty at the ISS and are left to blast in upper atmosphere. However, such is not the case with the Dragon, as it can be launched, recovered and reuse das many times as scientists want. This is one of the points which make the Dragon quite economic.
NASA also admitted that the Dragon is economic as they will be paying about $133 million for its launch, which is quite less when they consider launch of some other unmanned capsule. Experts said that NASA need not get happy as SpaceX is a private company and they will sell their capsule to the one, who will offer the best price.
"SpaceX continues to prepare for our upcoming test flight in which we will attempt to send the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Stationâ€ť, said Shotwell.