SpaceX's first launch to ISS delayed again
Falcon 9's second launch.
April 24th, 2012
09:59 AM ET

SpaceX's first launch to ISS delayed again

The launch of SpaceX's Dragon capsule to the International Space Station is eagerly anticipated. A successful mission will mark the first time a commercial spacecraft berths to ISS.

It was supposed to launch April 30, but we're going to have to wait a little longer. May 7 is the new target date, a SpaceX spokesperson said Tuesday.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, tweeted the latest about Dragon's first flight to the International Space Staton: it's delayed, at least a week, so that SpaceX can "do more testing on Dragon docking code."

SpaceX and NASA completed a Flight Readiness Review on April 16, giving the commercial company the green light to launch its Dragon capsule, carrying some 1200 pounds of cargo, atop a Falcon 9 rocket. A successful berthing to ISS would set SpaceX and Dragon on the path to becoming regular visitors to Station.

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Filed under: In Space • News
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    The biggest single obstacle to space access is the cost of lifting one pound to orbit. With the shuttle I think it was around $50,000-$60,000 per pound. SpaceX is supposedly trying to get it to $10,000 and hypothetically down to $1,000 per pound. With a lower cost per pound and the experience of assembling things in space gained through the ISS, the potential is huge.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Brian

      Yes, it won't be long before a giant OLED advertising banners are populating low orbit.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  2. Jack 63

    Uh... ISS, Huston here. About that liquid oxygen you were expecting. You might wanna hold your breath on that.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  3. STEVED

    I think Elon is really sending up a "Pay Pal Atm Machine" so Aliens can stop off and get some cash while on a space
    vacation.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. James

    I live about 45 minutes from one branch of SpaceX in Texas and when they test rockets it feels like my house is about to collapse! And my pants need changing as well:)

    April 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  5. M.F. Luder

    I thought the SNR would be a little higher on this blog. Guess I was wrong.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Chuck

      Remember, this is cnn.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  6. Bub

    Testes, testes, 1....2.........3????

    April 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  7. hammertime

    SpaceX.........ISS..........Beyond!!

    April 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  8. Brian

    So I tapped into the SpaceX ground control radio frequency. It's kind of broken up as they use an interupt com system like a walkie talkie. Here is a bit of what I got:
    "Systems control, update status on docking protocol sim" "Ground control, we cleared main" "Man, that rocket is big when standing on the pad! It looks like a giant" "Johnson! get off the radio, we are doing a main system che" "Sorry ground", music interupts, "What is that music? Where is it com" "What are all these other things around the rocket? They look like a bunch of " "Willy sir, Willy Nelson, that's the music" People, I need radio silence here! Ok? System control, give status on docking sequence" "Ground control, sequence is good, we have emulated alignment algorithm and primary lock but we are having trouble penetrating the " "Sugar walls, can someone put that Love my sugar walls song from the 80's on the main PA?" "Who, who for crying out loud!"
    That's all I got before the radio went silent.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  9. GodisaMYTH

    Moonraker was Roger Moore Not Sean Connery (best Bond EVER)

    April 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  10. Sandman101

    I am glad they are taking thier time with this. Any type of glitch or error could set the program back years. I hope this launch, when it happens, goes without a hitch. If sucessful it could lead to more flights (more than what govt. space progams are expecting to do) to the ISS which could mean cheaper space travel in the next 10 to 15 years.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • hecep

      ... yes, for LOW earth orbit missions only. Others (PWR/Dynetics/Lockheed) are submitting proposals for missions into higher orbits, and beyond (asteroids/planetary).

      April 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        Actually I don't think SpaceX has given up on HEO and beyond. I think they even are working on a varient of the Dragon that could go to Mars... though that would be quite a stretch for that capsule in my opinion.

        April 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  11. Judas Priest

    Qapla'!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  12. Richard Shultz

    I don't mind SpaceX taking the time to sure on this one. It's an important launch, it needs to go well, and last minute bugs can bite awfully hard. No sense taking the chance of losing docking capability, and maybe the space craft, if you don't
    have to. Bravo Zulu SpaceX!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Ali

      Posted on Good piece.I was heavily into the Thrawn tlorigy and some other stuff when I was about 14. I think ultimately that's the era that any sort of expanded universe Star Wars, Star Trek, etc really, really worked for me, because I felt like I *needed* it. I needed MORE Star Wars and MORE Star Trek and, to be honest, I don't think I really cared too much about the quality. (I also needed it to be sanctioned somehow, which I guess is why fanfic did not quite fill this gaping need hey, even if whatever isn't technically canon, it is LICENSED and has a LOGO.)Though I still think the Zahn stuff is actually good.That's about where my feelings on the EU end I appreciate that it's there, I suppose. Certainly not against it, but haven't read much of it since that specific era.

      September 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  13. Dave

    Didn't we just go through this with North Korea? I'm sure this is how Dr.Evil started out..

    April 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Aardie

      James Bond, You Only Live Twice.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • Cybermantis

        Nice reference. James Bond rocks! ( Sean Connery era )

        April 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  14. Ethan19

    Finally commercial space travel, now to only make it cheaper.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Careful Thought

      That is exactly how you make it cheaper- have the people who are paying for people who are using money they're responsible for. Private businesses will hone the costs down while the government will continue to buy $600 hammers because they can.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  15. Lucien Alexandre Marion

    Hope all will go well and the Best for all those participating in that superb Space Project.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  16. Darkguardian1314

    I'm curious. Are they being cautious or did they run into a bug they need to work out. You can only test so many times. It's understandable to second guess things but if they did all they could, it's time to get on with it.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Finding a bug, or glitch, or just poorly optomized code is not some amazing zomg-we're-all-going-to-die moment. If you run into something that doesn't look right, or isn't performing as consistently as you need, then it's wise to look it over, make any necessary changes, and test it extensively. Success is more important than the timetable here.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bill

      If this was the 1960s I would agree with you. However, in this risk adverse era where one failure often results in program cancellations, finger-pointing and second guessing by non-technical politicians and business school accountants, you want to do everything you can to get it right the first time.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  17. BLASTOFF

    T-Minus 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...Ignition...and lift-off of the SapceX Rectal Rocket delivering the first commercial payload from the big blue ball named Earth to the ISS orbital platform dubbed Uranus.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • What Dat?

      I guess that was supposed to be FUNNY? The point here is this...Kids DON'T do DRUGS"....

      April 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • JCQueipo

        I agree, also stay in school !!!

        April 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Aardie

      What does the Star Trek Enterprise have in common with a roll of toilet paper? They both circle Uranus looking for Klingons.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • davetharave

        That's 'Starship Enterprise' and that joke is at least 30 years old, but thanks for bringing it back.

        April 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Cybermantis

        Aardie did also make a "James Bond" reference, so the age-bracket has been established! *grin*
        While on this subject..... MOONRAKER!
        The Drax Industries will take over where NASA left off. Where's Sean Connery when you need him?!?!
        We need James Bond or Lt. Ripley to deal with this stuff! Too bad those people do not exist in reality, huh.
        I'm calling Nathan Fillion! We need Capt. Mal Reynolds back! ASAP! The Alliance is meddling again!

        April 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Plagiarism. I heard that joke from a seven-year-old last month. It was better when she told it.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  18. MobiusEight

    Get this right and humanity may once again have a future. Best of luck, guys!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  19. spaceman

    It must go perfect……else the already criticized CCDev program will have even more skeptics.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Max55

      It will be Bush's fault.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  20. Wubb

    Being patient is crucial, one misstep could impact commercial or even private space travel negatively. In order for more companies and individuals to feel confident in space travel the first missions must be a success.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  21. JB

    Ah, the thought of commercial travel to space. So exciting! Just hope it becomes affordable in my lifetime.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  22. Heather Moats

    So exciting! Take your time, wait until June, then I can watch the launch from Cocoa Beach!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  23. vegan

    I agree g.r.r. this is an exciting time in space travel.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  24. g.r.r.

    Take your time SpaceX. Get it right. If you are successful with this one, the rest will flow.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |

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