The private organization Space Exporation Technologies Corporation, which is shortened to SpaceX, will launch the first commercial flight, with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule.
The launch of this mission will take place at Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The launch is set for 8:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), with secondary launch opportunities on October 8th and October 9th.
You can watch the launch on NASA Television and online on NASA TV beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.
And, "Under the CRS contract, SpaceX will restore an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory -- a capability not available since the retirement of the space shuttle."
The unmanned Dragon space capsule will contain about half a ton of supplies, including materials for 166 experiments, what NASA calls "investigations".
Dragon will stay at the Space Station and then return scientific materials back to Earth on its controlled splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
The Falcon 9 rocket is a medium-lift, two-stage rocket, with both stages using liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants. The rocket has the capability to lift payloads of 13,150 kilograms (29,000 pounds) into low Earth orbit (LEO), and 4,850 kilograms (10,700 pounds) to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
The Dragon space capsule is a partially reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX. On May 25, 2012, an unmanned Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with the International Space Station. This test flight led the way to this October 2012 mission of the first commercial trip to the Space Station of a spacecraft.
A successful mission to the Space Station by Dragon will greatly help NASA's ability to deliver -- in the near future -- astronauts to the ISS with domestic spacecraft. The Dragon will soon be modifited to accommodate human travelers into space.
Photo: Screenshot from HD video of the COTS 2 mission as Dragon approached the ISS with its GNC bay door open. Date May 25, 2012; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGoJ66WNapE; NASA