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SpaceX to launch Dragon demo flight in November

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An artistic concept Dragon spacecraft. Photo: SpaceX

WASHINGTON (BNS): Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has rescheduled the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel until November 2010.

Earlier, the target was scheduled for October 23rd launch, which is now rescheduled for November 8th or 9th.

“Our targeted launch date is moving — we’ve submitted a request for November 8th or 9th and are waiting for the range to complete their standard de-confliction work and provide a formal approval,” SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said in a statement.

In 2008, the company had scheduled a demonstration test of the medium-class rocket and space capsule which was later modified to reflect a June 2009 initial demonstration flight. Routine resupply runs to the international space station were expected to follow as early as December of this year, but hardware development has taken longer than planned.

The test was being developed under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Minor tweaks to Falcon 9 hardware have been under way since the company completed an internal analysis of the vehicle’s maiden launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The first COTS demo entails a four-hour flight meant to show Dragon can complete as many as four orbits, transmit telemetry, receive commands, maneuver, re-enter the atmosphere and make a safe water landing and recovery.

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Space  flight  falcon  
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