Falcon 9 flew on two previous missions in 2010, with the second of them taking Dragon into orbit for the first time. When the capsule links up with the station this week, it will become the first non-governmental vehicle to do so.
"Every launch into space is a thrilling event, but this one is especially exciting because it represents the potential of a new era in American spaceflight," White House science advisor John Holdren said in a statement. "Partnering with U.S. companies such as SpaceX to provide cargo and eventually crew service to the International Space Station is a cornerstone of the President’s plan for maintaining America’s leadership in space."
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