NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk discussed the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station during a Google+ Hangout from 1-1:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 5. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon cargo spacecraft are scheduled to lift off at 8:35 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7 from at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Bolden and Musk talked about the flight, which will be the first of 12 contracted for NASA by SpaceX to resupply the space station. The SpaceX flights under the Commercial Resupply Services contract will restore an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory — a feat not achievable since the retirement of the space shuttle.
The Dragon will be filled with about 1,000 pounds of supplies. This includes critical materials to support the 166 investigations planned for the station’s Expedition 33 crew, including 63 new investigations. The Dragon will return about 734 pounds of scientific materials, including results from human research, biotechnology, materials and educational experiments, as well as about 504 pounds of space station hardware.
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