Pic Story of Sept. 2014 SpaceX Dragon Launch on Falcon 9 Rocket to Deliver ISS Supplies
SpaceX’s business model is based on launching satellites for corporations and countries and resupply missions for NASA to the International Space Station. Private space is making a big contribution to the changing economics of the space game and SpaceX has become key player. This September 2014 montage of photos gives a look at a re-supply mission with the Dragon Spacecraft heading to ISS after being launch into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, the primary SpaceX launch workhorse. This was the 4th SpaceX resupply mission to the ISS to date. The Falcon Heavy rocket is in the development stage as Elon Musk continues to work towards a Mission to Mars.
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The CRS-4 (Cargo Resupply Service) mission began early in the morning on Sunday, September 21, when Dragon and the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 1:52 am EDT.
The picture-perfect launch was the fourteenth successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. At liftoff, Falcon 9’s nine Merlin engines put out 1.3 million pounds of thrust, rising to 1.5 million pounds as the vehicle climbed out of Earth’s atmosphere.
Dragon Orbited Earth for About Two Days
Dragon caught up to the International Space Station and was grappled by the station’s robotic arm at 6:52 am EDT on Tuesday, September 23. NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst used the ISS Canadarm 2 to capture Dragon, and berth the vehicle to the Earth-facing Harmony node by 9:21am EDT.
On Tuesday morning, ISS Astronauts opened Dragon’s hatch, beginning a four week process of unloading science experiments, crew supplies, and other gear and repacking Dragon with Earth-bound cargo.
Experiments include the ISS Rapid Scatterometer, which will explore how winds over the ocean affect weather patterns, and Rodent Research-1, an experiment to observe the effects of spaceflight on mice–also SpaceX’s first live mammals! Read more about the research delivered by Dragon here.