Photos: Assembling Dragon
BY STEPHEN CLARK
Posted: November 15, 2011
SpaceX lifted the Dragon capsule and attached it to the craft's trunk section Wednesday inside the company's launch processing hangar in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The pressurized section of the Dragon spaceship arrived at the launch site Oct. 23. The trunk, or service module, pulled into the hangar Nov. 11, according to a SpaceX spokesperson.
The upcoming test flight will be the first Dragon mission with the trunk, a mounting point for the craft's solar panels. On future flights, the trunk will haul unpressurized cargo to the space station.
The Dragon's Falcon 9 booster is also being prepared for launch inside the hangar, which sits about 600 feet south of pad 40. The spacecraft will blast off to the International Space Station no sooner than Jan. 12, although NASA officials expect liftoff some time in February.
Analysis and testing of SpaceX's flight software is the primary schedule driver. NASA must approve the software before finishing a series of hazard reports as part of a Phase 3 safety review process. The review is required before new spacecraft are permitted near the space station.
Credit: SpaceX/Mike Brown