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Fri, Sep 24, 2010

SpaceX Pushes Back Dragon Test Flight

Earliest The Cargo Module Could Fly Is November

SpaceX announced in an e-mail Wednesday that it will not be attempting a demo flight of its Dragon cargo module atop a Falcon 9 booster in October. The company said the targeted launch date request is now November 8th or 9th.

SpaceX launched the first Falcon 9 rocket into orbit earlier this year. The next flight was to carry a demonstration Dragon module and place it into orbit, where it would send telemetry back to NASA, as well as receive commands, maneuver, and then re-enter the earth's atmosphere, according to a report in Space News. The Falcon 9 launch was so successful that SpaceX said at the time it hoped to be carrying cargo to ISS by the end of the year.

SpaceX was the first COTS partner selected by NASA in 2006. The COTS commercial partners are responsible for the overall design, development, manufacturing, testing, and operation of their COTS system. In order to receive NASA financial assistance, the COTS partners must conduct the COTS Demonstrations according to the terms and conditions in their Space Act Agreements and consistent with the COTS ISS Service Requirements Document (ISRD), the COTS Human Rating Plan, and the ISS to COTS Interface Requirements Document (IRD).

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NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO) was created to extend human presence in space by enabling an expanding and robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry.



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