Space X is set to launch its Dragon space capsule from Cape Canaveral tomorrow. Story from Space.com
Quote:A private unmanned space capsule designed to ferry cargo to the International Space Station is all set for a key demonstration flight tomorrow (Dec. 7).
The Dragon space capsule built by the California company Space Explorations Technologies (SpaceX) is poised to launch from a seaside pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during a nearly 3 1/2-hour launch window that opens tomorrow at about 9 a.m.
The launch will test the spacecraft SpaceX plans to use to fulfill a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for 12 resupply flights after the agency's space shuttle fleet retires next year.
Dragon will launch into orbit atop SpaceX's two-stage Falcon 9 rocket.
For this maiden flight, the Dragon capsule is expected to make as many as four orbits around Earth, showing the ability to transmit telemetry data, receive commands and maneuver, SpaceX officials have said. The Dragon capsule should then re-enter the atmosphere and make a water landing in the Pacific Ocean, after which SpaceX personnel will recover it by ship.
The entire operation should take about four or five hours, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.