SpaceX Dragon CRS-1

Dragon at ISSHaving successfully demonstrated an unmanned cargo vehicle to make supply runs to the International Space Station, SpaceX launches the first Dragon capsule to the ISS under its new commercial resupply contract with NASA. The flight is not without difficulties: one of the nine engines of the Falcon 9 booster’s first stage shuts down in flight without impacting the Dragon capsule’s ability to reach the right orbit, but a secondary payload – a commercial satellite to be launched from the Falcon’s upper stage – is stranded in the wrong orbit and falls back into Earth’s atmosphere in days. NASA and SpaceX begin a joint investigation into the mishap, while the Dragon capsule docks with the ISS and remains in orbit for nearly three weeks as Expedition 33 crew members unload new cargo and stow items for return to Earth aboard the capsule, which will be recovered on Earth after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.