SpaceX set to host historic launch pad's 100th mission tonight

SpaceX Dragon International Space Station ISS NASA Kennedy Space Center Florida
SpaceX is all set to launch the Dragon spacecraft for its 11th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on June 1

08 June, 2017

Due to lightning risks, SpaceX canceled its Dragon spacecraft launch on Thursday and postponed it to June 3 at 5:07 p.m.

Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral - the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions. The SpaceX Dragon craft will be filled with almost 6,000 pounds of research, supplies and hardware for the ISS.

Dragon's new launch date will enable the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft to depart the station Sunday, June 4.

On October 25, 2014, the Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Today, SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of CRS-11 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The heat shield, however, has been replaced, he told reporters at a pre-launch press conference on Wednesday.

Besides the usual supplies, the 6,000-pound shipment includes mice and flies for research, a new kind of roll-up solar panel and a neutron star detector.

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In March, SpaceX achieved one of its longtime goals by using a previously-flown first-stage booster to launch a commercial communications satellite and then re-landing that booster on a floating platform at sea.

SpaceX personnel recovered the capsule and began refurbishing it for a future mission. The Dragon will remain docked for about a month before it is loaded with lab results and trash to head back home to Earth. However, the mission is a significant milestone for the commercial space industry.

The list of spacecraft that have entered space a couple of times is relatively short. NASA uses this to encourage young space fans to chase careers related to space. The previous four attempts to return a Falcon 9 on land have been successful.

During its resupply mission, Dragon was to deliver about 2.7 tonnes of cargo, including food and scientific materials for more than 250 experiments on the orbit.

The Falcon 9 rocket, built at the company's Hawthorne headquarters, has been rescheduled for launch at 2:07 p.m. PDT Saturday.

The U.S. Air Force's weather forecast for Saturday calls for a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions - the same outlook for Thursday's launch opportunity - with anvil clouds and cumulus clouds from nearby storms the prime concerns.

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