Preparations are under way to lift a Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule secured atop into a vertical position on the pad at Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, built both the rocket and capsule for NASA's first Commercial Resupply Services, or CRS-1, mission to the International Space Station. The vertical lift was complete at 1 p.m. EDT. SpaceX CRS-1 is an important step toward making America’s microgravity research program self-sufficient by providing a way to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to and from the orbiting laboratory. Launch is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. EDT on Oct. 7. NASA has contracted for 12 commercial resupply flights from SpaceX and eight from the Orbital Sciences Corp. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/living/launch/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann