SpaceX Launches its First ISS Resupply Mission

SpaceX placed its Dragon spacecraft into orbit for the company’s first official cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, announced company officials. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried Dragon aloft from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on Oct. 7. “We are thrilled Dragon launched successfully into its intended orbit,” said company CEO Elon Musk in a release that same day. Dragon is expected to berth with ISS on Oct. 10 and then return to Earth on Oct. 28. The spacecraft was performing nominally en route to ISS, said Musk in an Oct. 8 update posted at the company’s website. This mission is the first of at least 12 cargo missions to ISS under SpaceX’s contract with NASA. It follows Dragon’s demonstration flight to ISS in May. Musk disclosed in the update there had been an anomaly with one of the Falcon 9’s first-stage engines during launch, but it had “no effect on Dragon or the cargo resupply mission.” However, Orbcomm of Fort Lee, N.J., announced that the anomaly caused the Falcon 9 to deploy its prototype OG2 communications satellite—a secondary payload—into an orbit lower than intended.