All systems are functioning nominally aboard the Earth orbiting Dragon cargo carrier launched yesterday, May 22, atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX has released the picture above of the Earth as seen by a thermal imager that Dragon will use in its upcoming approach to the International Space Station.
The Falcon 9/Dragon duo thundered to space at 3:44 a.m. on May 22 from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a historic mission to be the first private spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station (ISS).
Docking is expected on Friday morning May 25 after an intricate series of maneuvering tests are conducted to prove that the Dragon spacecraft can safely approach and dock at the ISS.
Dragon is loaded with about 1200 pounds of supplies on a test flight aimed at showing it can partially replace the cargo carrying duties of the now retired NASA space shuttles.
Watch NASA TV for live docking coverage
Read my launch article here
Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight – www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter