The first launch of a commercial cargo ship to the International Space Station has been delayed until spring. The company SpaceX planned for launch unmanned cargo ship from Cape Canaveral on Feb. 7. But it was reported that the need to conduct additional testing spacecraft, named Dragon. And on Friday, officials confirmed that the launch will take place only in the second half of March.
NASA counting on the fact that companies like SpaceX will take on the task of delivering cargo to the station after the program was closed space shuttles. NASA has closed this program, which lasted 30 years, in July 2011.
And until that happens, the Russian, European and Japanese space agencies (all of these are public institutions) - to the extent possible to assume these responsibilities, and regularly send cargo to the orbital outpost.
A spokeswoman SpaceX, Christine Grantham, noted that her company is a pilot program and all strive to ensure that it went perfectly.
In its first flight to the ISS on board the Dragon will be delivered to about 100 kg of provisions for astronauts - nothing significant in case of failure. Astronauts aboard the space station will seize and secure the Dragon with a large robotic arm. ISS team currently consists of six members: two Americans, three Russian and one Netherlander.
The company SpaceX, run by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, is one of several companies competing with each other for the right to visit the ISS. In their long-term plans - the modification of the Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule, to deliver astronauts to the station. In the meantime, Americans are buying seats on Russian Union.