California-based SpaceX has successfully managed to launch the second Dragon capsule into space, and this capsule is well on its way towards the International Space Station to fulfill its role as a cargo ship. Ever since Atlantis returned after its last shuttle flight in July 2011, NASA has had to rely on private firms like Space X to help restock the space station.
The Dragon capsule is expected to arrive at its destination by Wednesday carrying 1000 pounds of key science experiments, much-needed gear, and even chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream for the astronauts on board the space station. On its return journey back to the earth about three weeks later, this capsule is expected to carry back twice as much load, including urine and blood samples of astronauts for analysis. The next supply run to the space station is expected to take place in January.
The company, SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is owned by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and is even working on making unmanned capsules that could transport astronauts to the space station. Even though many critics mocked Musk during his initial efforts, a decade later, he managed to realize his dreams and send the capsule into space as planned.