The unmanned space craft, named the Dragon, will be put through many tests during its flight. Its main objective is to catch up with the International Space Station, which is a collaboration between United States, Russia, Europe, Canada, and Japan. It will take about three days for it to reach its target, at which point it will be given the ‘go’ to attach onto the space station. The connection will be made by robotic arms controlled by the astronauts in the station.
The Dragon is about 14 feet by 12 feet, and its design can be described as a ‘gumdrop’ shape. The capsule is filled with science experiments set up by students, items of clothing, and other supplies for the astronauts on board the 100 billion dollar Space Station. The Dragon will be attached to the station for approximately a week. During this time the astronauts will be able to unload the Dragon, complete some of the student experiments, and load any unused items from the station to be shipped off to Earth.
An unmanned spacecraft which takes off from the Earth to deliver goods to a Space Station orbiting in space – this would have sounded absolutely crazy a couple decades ago. Technology is evolving at an incredible rate and we are lucky to be spectators of this growth. Just like how Boeing and Airbus are commercial airplane manufacturers, having a commercially built spacecrafts opens the door to possibilities of more commercial space travel. Although this is looking way into the future, it’s not far fetched.
If you’re really into this kind of stuff, you can actually see the Dragon in the sky during it’s flight. You can track it here.