NASA OKs Feb. launch of private space station trip

December 9, 2011 - 2:26 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A private space company will attempt the first-ever commercial cargo run to the International Space Station in February.

NASA announced the news Friday. The approval comes one year and one day after Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, became the first private business to launch a capsule into orbit and return it safely to Earth.

On Feb. 7, SpaceX will attempt another orbital flight from Cape Canaveral. This time, the unmanned Dragon capsule will fly to the space station and dock with a load of supplies.

NASA has turned to industry to stock the space station now that the space shuttles are retired. The station's Russian, European and Japanese partners provide their own cargo ships.