SpaceX demonstration launch set for May 7

NASA says the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will lift off on Monday, May 7, and eventually rendezvous with the International Space Station in a demonstration of SpaceX technology.

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NASA reported on April 27 that the second SpaceX (Hawthorne, Calif., USA) demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) has been rescheduled for a liftoff on Monday, May 7. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will occur from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 9:38 a.m. EDT. NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral begins at 8 a.m. at

During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including the capability to rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station. The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the space station at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach.

The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous. Once these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the space station.