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Apr 12 2012

US space companies prepare for space station docking

US space companies prepare for space station docking

Two US rocket companies are readying the first private space missions to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX and Orbital both have multi-billion dollar Nasa contracts to supply cargo to the station, filling the void left by the retirement last year of the space shuttle.

California-based SpaceX has set the pace so far, having successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule into orbit, and safely returning the capsule to Earth, in December 2010.  The company says it could launch for the ISS as soon as 30 April.