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First ever commercial space cargo flight takes off

May 22, 2012
"This expanded role for the private sector will free up more of NASA’s resources to do what NASA does best — tackle the most demanding technological challenges in space, including those of human space flight beyond low Earth orbit."
- John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser

The head of Nasa has hailed a 'new era' in exploration after the launch of the first cargo delivery to the space station by a private company.

The Falcon rocket, topped by an unmanned Dragon freight capsule, lifted clear of its Florida pad at 03:44 EDT (07:44 GMT; 08:44 BST).

The launch system has been built by California-based firm SpaceX.

       

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