Friday, June 01, 2012
(Orlando, FL -- WMFE) With the splashdown of a privately owned unmanned space capsule Thursday and a successful weeklong demonstration visit to the International Space Station, the company that built the craft is hoping the mission leads to regular resupply flights for NASA.
SpaceX hopes to get the green light from NASA to launch its first supply mission to the ISS later this summer.
Dragon splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, nine days after blasting off from Cape Canaveral. CEO Elon Musk said he was relieved to see the Dragon’s parachutes pop open, guiding the scorched capsule to its target a few hundred miles off the California coast, knowing the mission had been a success.
Musk described the test flight as like a “grand slam.”
“I almost feel like it’s more success than we had a reasonable right to expect, so I hope we’re able to repeat it,” said Musk.
“That’s going to be our focus is making sure that we repeat it well in future flights.”
Musk acknowledged his company would not have gotten this far without NASA’s help.
NASA’s commercial crew and cargo program manager Alan Lindenmoyer said after a final mission report comes back in a few weeks, SpaceX should be well on the way to starting services.