SpaceX CRS-18 mission launches to ISS

SpaceX CRS-18 mission launches to ISS”

"The company's (Elon Musk's SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft will deliver supplies and critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 60 and beyond", the USA space agency writes on its website. With the successful launch of CRS-18, SpaceX is very near the completion of its first contract with NASA that was for up to 20 missions.

The Elon Musk-led company's Falcon 9 rocket carried aloft cargo including a 3D biological printer and Nickelodeon's iconic slime from NASA's Kennedy Space Center shortly after 6 p.m. local time in Florida. A backup launch window, which opens today at 6:01 p.m. EDT, could send the CRS-18 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) if weather conditions are more favorable, Ars Technica noted.

A space capsule carrying a 3D printer to make human tissue and about 5,000 pounds (roughly 2270 kgs) of other experiments and supplies is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) after a thunderous SpaceX launch. The ISS cargo package is now expected to rendezvous with the orbital laboratory 250 miles (402km) above Earth on Saturday. There's only a 30 percent chance that weather will cooperate this afternoon, the same odds as yesterday when SpaceX tried to launch this mission the first time. Weather was also unsettled during the second launch attempt, but cleared in time for the launch.

The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the ISS July 27, bringing to the station 2,312 kilograms of cargo. Jessica Jensen, director of Dragon mission management at SpaceX, said at a pre-launch press conference July 24 that the static-fire test was delayed to correct a small liquid oxygen leak detected in the first stage.

A new docking adapter for future commercial space taxis will be delivered as well, along with more mundane supplies such as food and clothing. That vehicle is designed for at least five flights to and from the station, and will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Pacific, allowing for faster turnaround between launches.

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