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SpaceX set to launch rocket to International Space Station

October 07, 2012|By W.J. Hennigan

SpaceX is set to usher in a new era for NASA's space flight program when a towering white rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and heads to the International Space Station on a resupply mission.  

If successful, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, will be the first private company to resupply the space station on a contracted mission for NASA. The company has a $1.6-billion contract to carry out 12 such cargo missions for the space agency in the coming years.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set to blast off Sunday at 5:35 p.m. PDT from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral carrying its Dragon capsule packed with 1,000 pounds of food, experiments and supplies.

The launch will be webcast on NASA TV beginning at 4 p.m. PDT and in the video stream above, which is provided by SpaceX.

According to the latest report, there is a 60% chance the weather will be clear enough for launch.

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has had three launches with its Falcon 9 rocket -- all of them successful. In May, the company performed a successful demonstration mission to the space station, showing NASA that it could do the job.

"I'm still quite nervous about it because it's just our second mission to the station," Elon Musk, SpaceX's 41-year-old billionaire founder and chief executive, said in an interview last week. "We're hoping that this mission goes as smoothly as the last one."


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