The demonstration flight under a program called Commercial Orbital Transportation (COTS) appointed by February 7, 2012. Currently underway are the final checks and tests to ensure the safety of the flight.
"SpaceX achieved incredible progress over the last few months in preparation for the Dragon spacecraft flight to the space station," - said William Gerstenmaier of NASA. "We hope that the mission will be successful and will mark a new era in commercial cargo delivery for this international orbiting laboratory."
He added: "We still have a lot to do critical work before launch, but the project teams have a step by step plan and are ready for the unexpected and challenges. As is the case with other start-ups, we can shift the date, if necessary, additional tests and analysis the results to ensure the safe and successful flight. "
During the flight, before docking with the station, Dragon will conduct a series of tests in order to check all the systems to ensure the security of all subsequent procedures. The main objectives of the flight is circled around the station at a distance of two miles, to check the proper functioning sensors and flight support necessary for the safe rendezvous and docking. In addition, the spacecraft will demonstrate its ability to abort the dock.
After closer to the ISS, the station crew grab it with a robotic arm. The capsule will be turned to the Earth and will dock with the module "Harmony". After that, the team will conduct this process in reverse, removing the Dragon from the station, so he could return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. If the rendezvous and docking prove unsuccessful, SpaceX will conduct a third demonstration flight in order to achieve the intended goals.
"SpaceX is extremely pleased to be the first commercial company in history to dock with the International Space Station. This mission will mark a turning point in the field of space flight," - said the head of SpaceX, Gvayn Shotwell. "We are grateful to NASA for their support and cooperation."