Posted Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 11:33 AM
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on October 7, 2012
Photo by BRUCE WEAVER/AFP/GettyImages.
After a successful test flight to the International Space Station in May, SpaceX has sent its Dragon capsule back to the ISS on the first of at least 12 resupply missions.
Filled with about 1,000 pounds of gear, the Dragon will dock with the ISS on Wednesday, bringing critical materials to support the more than 150 investigations being carried out by the station's Expedition 33 crew. The Dragon will return to earth on Oct. 28 with scientific specimens, research, and about 500 pounds of space station hardware, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean about 250 miles off the coast of Southern California.
The Commercial Resupply Services missions will fill the gap left when NASA decommissioned its shuttle program and restore