All of this, growing and testing the Falcon 9 in addition to the Dragon cargo capsule, led towards a visit to the Worldwide House Station (ISS). Following the success of prior launches and developments, SpaceX launched its first mission to the station on Could 22, 2012.
This time, as an alternative of take a look at payloads made from little greater than cosmic paperweights, the Dragon capsule was carrying 545 kilograms (1,200 kilos) of provides together with meals, clothes, and orbital experiments. Whereas the launch did carry precise provides, it was nonetheless thought-about a take a look at of the Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule. As such, the load was stored comparatively mild (in comparison with the capsule’s 3,300 kilogram/7,300-pound carrying capability).
The Dragon lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 4:33 a.m. on the morning of Could 12 and commenced a days-long strategy with the station. Along with provides, the capsule additionally carried the ashes of 308 folks by way of a partnership with autopsy spaceflight firm Celestis. Posthumous passengers included James Doohan (Scotty on the unique “Star Trek” sequence) and astronaut Gordon Cooper, who flew on NASA’s Mercury program. The Dragon capsule spent a few days catching up with ISS and slowly approaching earlier than docking. The mission was successful, cementing SpaceX’s capacity to make deliveries to the ISS.