In a processing hangar at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Space Exploration Technologies technicians close the hatch of the Dragon capsule. The hatch was open for cargo to be stowed in the capsule in preparation for its scheduled April 30 liftoff aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
Known as SpaceX, the launch will be the company's second demonstration test flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, or COTS. During the flight, the capsule will conduct a series of checkout procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station. The cargo includes food and provisions for the station’s Expedition crews, such as clothing, batteries, and computer equipment. Under COTS, NASA has partnered with two private companies to launch cargo safely to the station. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacex. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann