The resupply mission was previously scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16 launch. However, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a statement on Thursday, Dec. 11, regarding the rescheduled date for the launch.
NASA announced that the SpaceX resupply cargo mission that is expected to deliver equipment and supplies to the ISS under the space agency's Commercial Resupply Services contract will launch no earlier than 1:20 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 19. The capsule atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket will launch from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
"The change of launch date allows SpaceX to take extra time to ensure they do everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch. Both the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon spacecraft are in good health, " per NASA.
The upcoming Dragon launch will also carry Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) to the space station.
"The CATS payload will improve our understanding of aerosol and cloud properties and interactions, as well as improve climate change models. CATS is specifically intended to demonstrate a low-cost, streamlined approach to developing ISS science payloads, " per NASA.
The upcoming launch will be SpaceX's fifth resupply mission to the ISS. On Sunday, Sept. 21, SpaceX successfully launched the Dragon capsule. After around a month in space, the Dragon splashed to the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, Oct. 25.
SpaceX revealed that the fourth resupply mission delivered about 5, 000 pounds of science experiment and cargo to ISS and returned back to the Earth with 3, 276 pounds weight, which includes waste, science samples and cargo from the ISS. Currently, Dragon is the only operational spacecraft, which is capable of bringing back significant amount of cargo back to the Earth.
This is not the first time that a resupply mission to the ISS has been rescheduled. The fourth resupply mission was originally planned for launch on Saturday, Sept. 20. However, due to rain and adverse weather conditions the mission was rescheduled to the next day. The third resupply mission by SpaceX was also delayed and then rescheduled.
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