Discuss as:

Stakes high for 1st private rocket launch to space station

Erik S. Lesser / EPA

Members of the media view the NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft are seen one day before its scheduled launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday.

Space.com reports: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Nerves are frayed here on Florida's space coast as commercial company SpaceX prepares to launch its Dragon capsule on the first-ever flight of a private vehicle to the International Space Station.

The milestone mission is being viewed as a test not only of Dragon but of private spaceflight in general. It will be the first commercial spaceship test flight for NASA's new plan to outsource transportation of cargo — and eventually crew — to the space station to the private sector now that the agency's space shuttle fleet is retired.

For the first time in history a private company, Space Exploration Technologies, will fly on a NASA mission to deliver much-needed supplies to the International Space Station. NBC's Tom Costello reports.

 

Sign up for the msnbc.com Photos Newsletter