All preparations are underway for the much awaited launch of SpaceX’s Dragon commercial spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 30. Top NASA officials have confirmed that the groundwork has been going on with any major glitches.
The NASA Space Station Manager, Mike Suffredini, said, “The simulations are taking place and there is a lot of work to do between now and April 30, but the schedule holds as we see it today".
SpaceX is owned by Entrepreneur and PayPal founder Elon Musk who made history in December 2010 by becoming first commercial organization to send a spacecraft into orbit and back. Although he is not alone in the race and there have been many other companies who are competing to build a private capsule that could carry astronauts and cargo to the ISS. Aerospace giant Boeing, the Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Washington state-based BlueOrigin LLC are some of the front runners who have a desire to build a commercial space capsule.
In the latest endeavor of SpaceX's next flight, it would do a precise maneuver in which the Dragon will approach the ISS and the crew aboard would latch on o it using the ISS robotic arm. After this test docking the shuttle would return back to the earth.
Suffredini downplayed the preciseness of the launch terming that success or failure of it won’t hamper any future commercial spaceflight. If any obstacles or glitches are encountered by commercial SpaceX, it would only be those which you find in the common commercial aircrafts that fly around in earth’s orbit. The main thing to keep in mind would be the docking process that has be done with utter preciseness in outer space. It would be a first attempt by any private company to dock a spacecraft at the orbiting lab.