Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. Dragon made history in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
SpaceX Falcon 9
Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. As the first rocket completely developed in the 21st century, Falcon 9 was designed from the ground up for maximum reliability. Falcon 9’s simple two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events — and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown.
SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
Boeing CST-100 Starliner
Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft is being developed in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Starliner was designed to accommodate seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, for missions to low-Earth orbit. For NASA service missions to the International Space Station, it will carry up to four NASA-sponsored crew members and time-critical scientific research. The Starliner has an innovative, weldless structure and is reusable up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time. It also features wireless internet and tablet technology for crew interfaces.
United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium
The Delta IV Medium is the most basic Delta IV rocket. Launched from Complex 37 Florida’s Space Coast, it is capable of delivering 4,200kg of payload to orbit. The Delta family of rockets are built by Boeing and operated by the United Launch Alliance for commercial launches, military missions, and NASA flights.
United Launch Alliance Atlas V 400 Series
The Atlas V family of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV) represents ULA’s commitment to enhanced competitive launch services for the U.S. government. Since their debut in August 2002, Atlas V vehicles have achieved 100 percent mission success in launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. and Space Launch Complex-3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy
The Delta IV family of launch vehicles combines design simplicity, manufacturing efficiency, and streamlined mission and vehicle integration to meet customer requirements to launch high-priority U.S. Air Force (USAF), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), NASA, and commercial payloads to orbit. With operational launch pads on both coasts every Delta IV configuration is available to service the requirements of current and future satellite programs.