Planned launch of SpaceX’s DRAGON reusable spaceship with supplies for ISS. Mission will be started from launch site SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral AFS.
First mission with supplies for ISS in 2016 has not exact date yet. It was given to public that Dragon will be launched in January 2016 from Cape Canaveral; SpaceX is realizing contract with NASA from 2006 on supply missions to ISS. Dragon spacecraft was designed as partially reusable – capsule returned to earth and cargo compartment is designed to be burned during entering in atmosphere. Dragon is height at 6.1 with diameter at 3.7 and dry mass at 4200 kg. Angle of sidewalls is 15 degrees. Heat shield is made phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (invented by NASA). Spacecraft is capable to lift to ISS 3310 kg pressurized or unpressurized cargo. From ISS Dragon is able to take 3310 kg of unpressurized or 2500 kg of pressurized cargo. Dragon’s construction has potential for further development – SpaceX have been designing crew version since 2006. Company was awarded with $ 75 million in second phase of NASA Commercial Crew Development program in 2011 and granted with another $ 440 million in 2012 for further development of its construction. As SpaceX potential is undisputable (since COTS Demo Flight 1 in 2010 and decision of FAA to issue Dragon capsule reentry license as first commercial vehicle in history) it is highly probable that SpaceX will soon be able to offer NASA a modern solution for sending men into space.
Falcon-9 development is strongly connected with Dragon. Second launch of Falcon-9 was during COTS Demo Flight 1. Spacecraft was successfully launched on correct orbit and was recovered from Pacific Ocean after controlled reentry burn. Also COTS Demo Flight 2 on 2012 was utilizing Falcon-9 rocket. This time SpaceX will utilize Falcon in 1.2V. It will be first time of usage modernized version 1.2V with Dragon spacecraft and third launch of Falcon-9 1.2V. If everything will go correct SpaceX will confirm its position as a launch service provider with comprehensive range of service and a fleet of space vehicles.