NASA Schedules 2nd SpaceX Resupply Mission for March

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For the second time in less than five months, Elon Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, will be looking to make history next month. The first time was when, on Oct. 8, SpaceX became the first privately owned space company to successfully launch a rocket to resupply the International Space Station. On Thursday, NASA announced that it intends to have SpaceX launch its second of 12 planned cargo resupply missions to the ISS on March 1 at 10:10 a.m. ET.

According to NASA, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will carry 1,200 pounds of supplies to ISS. The capsule is expected to link up with the ISS on March 2 an then remain docked up there for "a few weeks" while astronauts unload its cargo.

Once unloading is complete, astronauts will load experiment samples into the capsule for the return to Earth, which is anticipated to take place March 25. Dragon will be bringing more than 2,300 pounds' worth of experiment samples and equipment back with it, or more than twice what it went up with.

NASA has contracted to have SpaceX make a total of 12 such runs to ISS and back and is paying SpaceX $1.6 billion for the service. Rival space company Orbital Sciences has a similar $1.9 billion contract to make eight cargo runs.

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  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2013, at 9:13 PM, wrwhiteal wrote:

    The entire 12 flight SpaceX contract is for less than the cost of a single NASA shuttle flight...

    The SpaceX heavy booster lifts TWICE the shuttle payload for 1/10th the cost...

    Yet pork driven NASA wastes $60+ billion more on an unneeded, unsustainable, unaffordable SLS/Orion... Shameless earmarked pork...

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Rich Smith

As a defense writer for The Motley Fool, I focus on defense and aerospace stocks. My job? Every day of the week, I'm monitoring the news, figuring out the winners and losers, and tracking down the promising companies for you to invest in. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace, and other great stories.

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