A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands atop its launch pad during preflight preparations to loft a private Dragon space capsule on the first commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station. Liftoff is set for Oct. 7, 2012, at 8:35 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
CREDIT: NASA/Jim Grossmann

Private SpaceX Cargo Ship Launching ‘New Era’ for Space Station Today

by Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor
Date: 07 October 2012 Time: 04:00 AM ET

An unmanned private spacecraft is counting down to launch the first commercial delivery to the International Space Station tonight (Oct. 7), marking a major shift in how NASA sends supplies and gear to the orbiting lab.

The gumdrop-shaped Dragon space capsule built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX is set to blast off from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin a three-day voyage to the space station. Liftoff is set for 8:35 p.m. EDT (0035 Monday GMT).

“Tomorrow’s SpaceX launch begins a new era for spaceflight and the International Space Station,” Sam Scimemi, NASA’s space station director, said in a briefing Saturday (Oct. 6). “These flights are critical to the space station’s sustainment and to help begin its full utilization.”

Read more: Private SpaceX Cargo Ship Launching to Space Station Today | Space.com.

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