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SpaceX delays Falcon 9 demo launch

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SpaceX DragonLab - a free-flying, fully-recoverable, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads. A SpaceX photo

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (BNS): The first SpaceX Falcon 9 demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program has been re-scheduled for Wednesday.

The liftoff will occur from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 9 am to 12:22 pm EST.

The launch is the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft and the first commercial attempt to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit.

The demonstration will follow a flight plan nearly identical to the first Falcon 9 launch in June, but this time the Dragon spacecraft will separate from the second stage and will demonstrate operational communications, navigation, maneuvering and reentry, SpaceX said on its website.

SpaceX will launch its Dragon spacecraft atop the Falcon 9 rocket. Dragon will make almost 2 orbits of the Earth, and land in the Pacific Ocean approximately three and half hours later.

Under COTS, NASA is partnering with commercial companies like SpaceX to develop and demonstrate space transportation capabilities.

After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will make at least 12 flights to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract for NASA awarded in 2008.

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NASA  SpaceX  COTS  
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