Rocket maker SpaceX is targeting Friday as the launch date for the next NASA cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station.
The Hawthorne, Calif., company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., performed a successful resupply mission to the space station in October and a demonstration mission in May.
SpaceX is the only commercial company to perform such a task.
Its Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for blastoff Friday morning from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
During the mission, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is set to be packed with more than 1,200 pounds of scientific experiments and cargo for the astronauts aboard the space station. It will remain attached to the orbiting outpost for more than three weeks and return with more than 2,300 pounds of cargo.
The capsule is slated to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California on March 25.
SpaceX has secured a $1.6 billion contract to carry out 12 such cargo missions, and Friday’s mission would be the second.
If the rocket launch is delayed, a backup date is available March 2.
RYOT NOTE: We here at RYOT love SpaceX and all the amazing work their doing to revolutionize the private sector for space flight. Join us in raising a glass of your favorite libation in hopes that this mission goes as well as the last. If stories like this get your gears going, we urge you to check out the Planetary Society, which is working hard to ensure that we have a bright future in space. You can support their efforts by donating today, or by sharing this story.