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Falcon 9 Successfully Takes Off For International Space Station

Last Saturday (19 May, 2012), SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket had to abort its planned launch just a half-second before the rocket lifted-off due to a problem in one of its valves. After the night-long effort of the engineers Falcon 9 rocket as well as Dragon cargo capsule was cleared for launch. The rocket has successfully taken off for International Space Station (ISS) this morning.


Dragon Capsule, Image Credit : SpaceX

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the world’s first commercial space station supply flight. It’s the first private business to attempt to launch a vessel to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX originally planned to launch the Falcon 9 Rocket or you can say ‘mission’ in early February, but the flight was repeatedly delayed, primarily to give engineers additional time to make sure the flight software was ready for action. The Dragon capsule which was placed on top of the Falcon 9 rocket and filled with 1,000 pounds of food and other provisions, on last Saturday, May 19, 2012 at at 4:55 am EDT, when the rocket was supposed to get-off the ground, just before a half-second the on-board computers ordered to abort the launch because it detected out-of-limit pressure reading in the combustion chamber of engine no 5 and the engines shut down. The out-of-limit pressure generated due to engine’s valve problem.

Rocket Engine, Image Credit : University Of Waikato

SpaceX engineers replaced the balky valve late Saturday. The rocket has been successfully launched at 3:44:32 am today.

According to calculations, the Dragon will reach the space station on Thursday. On Friday, the capsule will fly within reach of the station’s 58 feet robot arm, which will snare it and berth it to the orbiting lab. The arm will be operated by two space station residents – American Donald Pettit and Andre Kuipers. After spending a week at the space station, the Dragon capsule is expected to depart the outpost and splash down in the Pacific Ocean a few hundred miles west of the Southern California coast where a recovery ship will retrieve the capsule from the the ocean.

Source : Space
Thanks To : Washingtonpost

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