MISSION UPDATE: SPLASHDOWN! SpaceX's Dragon Splashes Down in the Pacific Ocean
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule sit on the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40.
Credit: Robert Z. Pearlman/collectSPACE.com

SPLASHDOWN! SpaceX's Dragon Splashes Down in the Pacific Ocean
8 December 2010 2:04 p.m. EST

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft has officially completed its inaugural test flight, after splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

The spacecraft's targeted splashdown location is 500 miles (nearly 805 kilometers) west of the coast of Mexico. The capsule's drogue chutes were successfully deployed, followed by the vehicle's three main parachutes to slow the Dragon on descent.

Dragon Completes De-Orbit Burn, Prepares for Splash Down
8 December 2010 1:23 p.m. EST

The unmanned commercial Dragon capsule has completed a de-orbit burn as it prepares to return to Earth from its first test flight. The burn lasted about six minutes, SpaceX officials told SPACE.com.

In a Twitter update during the burn, SpaceX officials reported that the capsule was, "looking good."

The spacecraft is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles (nearly 805 kilometers) west of the coast of Mexico at a little after 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT).

Dragon Capsule Performing Maneuvers On Orbit
8 December 2010 12:17 p.m. EST

SpaceX's Dragon capsule is making two orbits of the Earth as part of its first test flight under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

SpaceX has reported that the Dragon is performing as expected so far. In a recent Twitter update, SpaceX officials said that the Dragon is in orbit and is performing maneuvers.

The company has pinpointed the location of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket in the Atlantic Ocean. Recovery boats are currently on their way to the location.

SpaceX Reports Dragon Capsule 'Performing Nominally'
8 December 2010 11:51 a.m. EST

After successfully reaching orbit, SpaceX is reporting that the Dragon capsule is "performing nominally."

In a recent Twitter update, SpaceX officials said, "A big thank you to NASA for their continued support! What an awesome partnership!"

Dragon Reaches Orbit
8 December 2010 10:52 a.m. EST

The commercial Dragon space capsule has reached orbit for the first time.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

Falcon 9 Rocket's Stages Separate
8 December 2010 10:49 a.m. EST

The first and second stages of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket have separated, with the first falling back to Earth. The second stage is now firing to carry the Dragon capsule to orbit.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

LIFTOFF! Falcon 9 and Dragon Blast Off
8 December 2010 10:43 a.m. EST

SpaceX has launched the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the first ever operational Dragon spacecraft to orbit.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

Countdown Resumed Toward Second Dragon Launch Attempt
8 December 2010 10:30 a.m. EST

SpaceX launch control teams have reportedly fixed the issue that caused the abort during the first launch attempt this morning. According to SpaceX officials, the problem was a false abort on the Ordinance Interruptor (OI) ground feedback. The company will now target a launch time of 10:43 a.m. EST (1503 GMT).

In a Twitter update from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, officials said, "This morning's abort resulted from a false indicator for the Falcon 9's ordnance interrupter, part of the rocket's flight termination system."

Watch the launch LIVE here.

SpaceX Sets New Launch Time After First Attempt Abort
8 December 2010 9:43 a.m. EST

SpaceX launch control teams have reportedly fixed the issue that caused the abort during the first launch attempt this morning. According to SpaceX officials, the problem was a false abort on the Ordinance Interruptor (OI) ground feedback. The company will now target a launch time of 10:43 a.m. EST (1543 GMT).

In a Twitter update from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, officials said, "This morning's abort resulted from a false indicator for the Falcon 9's ordnance interrupter, part of the rocket's flight termination system."

Watch the launch LIVE here.

First Attempt at SpaceX Launch Aborted
8 December 2010 9:07 a.m. EST

SpaceX has aborted its first attempt to launch the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule this morning. The company still has two launch windows to try again.

"We have an abort on terminal count," a SpaceX launch commentator said.

The abort took place just under three minutes before launch. The countdown clock is being reset to the T-13 mark, and the next scheduled attempt will take place at 10:42 a.m. EST (1542 GMT).

Watch the launch LIVE here.

'All Systems Go' for SpaceX Launch
8 December 2010 8:48 a.m. EST

Everything remains on track for a 9:06 a.m. EST (1406 GMT) launch. In an update posted to NASA's Twitter account, officials said, "Both stages of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle are loaded with fuel and are being topped off. Weather looks good for 9:06 a.m. EST liftoff."

"The SpaceX Launch director has asked the Range Safety Officer to check the range. All systems are go," they added soon after.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

SpaceX Targets New Launch Time
8 December 2010 8:15 a.m. EST

A new launch time has been set for the liftoff of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule this morning. The company is aiming for 9:06 a.m. EST (1406 GMT).

Current weather conditions here at Cape Canaveral are cold but clear.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

Countdown Begins for SpaceX Launch
8 December 2010 6:48 a.m. EST

The countdown clocks are now ticking down the hours and minutes to the launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule. SpaceX is aiming to launch at 9:03 a.m. EST (1403 GMT). The company has between 9:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) and 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT) to launch within the current window.

Watch the launch LIVE here.

SpaceX Prepares for First Launch of Private Unmanned Space Capsule
8 December 2010 6:28 a.m. EST

Commercial spaceflight company SpaceX is set to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule on its inaugural test flight this morning. The company has between 9:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) and 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT) to launch within this window.

SpaceX Prepares for First Launch of Private Unmanned Space Capsule
8 December 2010 6:28 a.m. EST

Commercial spaceflight company SpaceX is set to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule on its inaugural test flight this morning. The company has between 9:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) and 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT) to launch within this window.

NASA TV will air live coverage of the launch beginning at 8:55 a.m. EST (1355 GMT). Watch the live webcast here.

Read SPACE.com's preview story here.

SpaceX Clears Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon Capsule for Launch
7 December 2010 11:17 p.m. EST

After a 24 hour delay to repair a cracked engine nozzle, SpaceX has cleared its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule for launch tomorrow (Dec. 8).

The private spaceflight company is making final preparations to launch the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on its maiden test flight tomorrow morning from Launch Complex 40 here in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch window opens at 9:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) and closes at 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT).

In an update posted to SpaceX's official Twitter account late tonight (Dec. 7), company officials wrote: "Still looks good for tomorrow.  Get some rest, it?s going to be an early morning!"

Read SPACE.com's preview story here.

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You can follow SPACE.com Staff Writer Denise Chow on Twitter @denisechow.