SpaceX Space Station Resupply Mission Off to Good Start
One of the craft’s nine booster engines shut down during the ascent, but the SpaceX CRS-1’s mission to bring fresh supplies to the International Space Station is proceeding well since its Oct. 7 launch, company officials say.SpaceX’s CRS-1 cargo resupply spacecraft, loaded with fresh materials for astronauts in the International Space Station high above Earth, got off to a successful start Oct. 7 as the vehicle launched from Florida and headed for an Oct. 10 rendezvous with its destination. “We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission," Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of the privately held company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), said in a statement. “We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon's approach to the space station. But we are thrilled that Dragon was launched successfully into its intended orbit." One of nine booster engines that propelled the craft into space did shut down unexpectedly about a minute and 19 seconds into the launch, but the glitch didn’t cause any other problems for the mission, according to SpaceX. “Approximately one minute and 19 seconds into last night's launch, the Falcon 9 rocket detected an anomaly on one first stage engine,” the company said in a statement. “Initial data suggests that one of the rocket's nine Merlin engines, Engine 1, lost pressure suddenly and an engine shutdown command was issued. We know the engine did not explode, because we continued to receive data from it.”
The Dragon spacecraft, essentially a large cargo carrier which was launched atop SpaceX’s massive Falcon 9 rocket booster, heralds the official start of the latest process to get needed supplies to the 12-year-old International Space Station (ISS). Previously, NASA and its partner nations used America’s fleet of Space Shuttles as the primary means of getting astronauts and cargo to the ISS, but that changed with the retirement of the shuttle fleet in 2011. The last shuttle mission flew in July 2011.