A camera aboard the first privately built spacecraft to be heading for the International Space Station snapped a somewhat fuzzy image of the planet shortly after its launch yesterday, May 22, 2012.
Takeoff occurred at 3:44 am EDT (0744 GMT), from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida. The unmanned Dragon capsule was delivered to low-Earth orbit by a Falcon 9 medium-lift rocket.
Both vehicles were designed, developed and built by engineers at Hawthorne, California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), under a $1.6 billion Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract with the American space agency, Universe Today
Dragon is scheduled to fly by the ISS tomorrow, May 24, while mission controllers on the ground carry out a series of tests to assess its systems. If everything is in order, the vehicle will be given the go-ahead to attempt a dock with the orbital lab the next day, on May 25.