PSU research payload blasts off into space

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on October 7, 2012. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on October 7, launching the cargo-laden Dragon capsule into orbit en route to the International Space Station for NASA's first privately-run supply mission. AFP PHOTO / Bruce Weaver (Photo credit should read BRUCE WEAVER/AFP/GettyImages)

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by Associated Press and KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 5:48 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 12:06 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A commercial supply ship carrying fluids research experiments created at Portland State University is on its way to the International Space Station.

The California-based SpaceX launched its unmanned Falcon rocket from Cape Canaveral on Sunday night. Aboard the rocket was a Dragon capsule holding 1,000 pounds of cargo, including chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream for the three station residents.

This is the first Dragon launch under a $1.6 billion contract between SpaceX and NASA. The contract calls for 12 resupply missions.

A Dragon flew to the space station in May, but it was a test so nothing vital was aboard. The newest Dragon is hauling key experiments and other precious gear.

Dragon will reach the orbiting lab Wednesday. It will remain docked for nearly three weeks before returning to Earth with an even bigger load.

The Portland State experiments will be done by the staff of the International Space Station in direct contact with PSU researchers.

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