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SpaceX CRS-1 head to ISS

SpaceX Dragon blasts off to International Space Station

Liftoff of CRS-1 Falcon 9 and Dragon from Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Fl. October 7, 2012. Credit: SpaceX

Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon from Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Fl. October 7, 2012. Credit: SpaceX

It was the second launch of a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab by the California-based SpaceX company. The first was last spring.

This time was no test flight, however, and the spacecraft carried 1,000 pounds of key science experiments and other precious gear on this truly operational mission. There was also a personal touch: chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream tucked in a freezer for the three station residents.

A new space age is dawning.

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