Friday, December 5, 2008

SpaceX Announces DragonLab Missions

Just a month after SpaceX announced the development of its DragonLab reusable unmanned spacecraft, it has formally announced the addition of two DragonLab missions to its already ambitious mission manifest.

The first flight of the DragonLab spacecraft (aboard a Falcon 9 rocket) is scheduled for 2010, and the second will launch in 2011. The specific payloads of these flights have not been announced; in fact, the SpaceX press release implies that the cargo has not even been chosen, and that SpaceX has chosen its launch date in part to give interested clients set dates that their payloads could fly if they purchased DragonLab cargo space.

In addition, because DragonLab will include its own propulsion systems, more applications are being discussed, such as spacecraft servicing missions and cargo delivery to the International Space Station

The other purpose of DragonLab, of course, is to prepare and test the technology necessary to launch the planned manned Dragon spacecraft, which will use the same basic structure and hardware as DragonLab.

In addition to this, SpaceX has recently made a successful flight-length test of the complete Falcon 9 propulsion system, so things are looking up for them!

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05

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