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SpaceX to fly to ISS this November

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Illustration of Dragon spacecraft in orbit. Photo: SpaceX/ Dragon.

WASHINGTON (BNS): The Hawthorne, California -based private rocket maker SpaceX plans to fly its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) in November, it announced Monday.

NASA has given SpaceX a Nov. 30, 2011 launch date, which would be followed nine days later by Dragon berthing at the ISS.

"Over the last several months, SpaceX has been hard at work preparing for our next flight - a mission designed to demonstrate that a privately-developed space transportation system can deliver cargo to and from the ISS," the company said in a statement.

SpaceX is planning to carry additional payloads aboard the Falcon 9's second stage which will deploy after Dragon separates and is well on its way to the ISS.

"The arrival of Dragon spacecraft at the space station, for the first time, will mark the beginning of a new era in space travel," the company said.

The Dragon made the world's first private trip to orbit and back in December 2010 aboard the company's Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon 9 and Dragon system are developed with the help of private-public partnerships.

With the space shuttle fleet retired, NASA is currently looking to private companies like SpaceX to handle space station supply runs and astronaut rides.

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NASA  ISS  SpaceX  Spacecraft  
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