While the space world contemplates the ramifications of NASA’s radical new direction, Space Exploration Technologies is gearing up for the first commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.

This photo just in from SpaceX shows technicians loading the company’s Dragon space capsule with a standard ISS cargo rack as NASA personnel, including astronauts Marsha Ivins and Megan McArthur, look on off camera.
It’s just the beginning of a whole new way of doing doing business at NASA. As X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis told Popular Mechanics science editor Jennifer Bogo yesterday,

“The new approach NASA has taken has laid the foundation for the Google, Cisco and Apple computers of space to be born. And, ultimately, lays the foundation for the rest of us to have a chance to get to go to space.”

See my analysis of NASA’s new trajectory at popularmechanics.com.
According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in an update posted earlier this month, the maiden voyage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the one that will fly the Dragon, should occur in the March to May time frame. After a total of three such test flights to orbit, the first cargo delivery flights should occur later this year.