Dragon Now Scheduled To Launch at 5:07 pm Saturday From KSC

SpaceX Dragon International Space Station ISS NASA Kennedy Space Center Florida

The launch of SpaceX's 11th commercial resupply mission aboard an unmanned Dragon cargo ship is scheduled for 5:55 pm (2155 GMT), and will be broadcast live on NASA's website.

SpaceX is going to attempt to re-use one of its Dragon capsules for the first time in an active mission to resupply the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket will carry a Dragon loaded with nearly 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware in support of Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The company has successfully landed 10 of its Falcon 9 rockets since 2015, and one of these used boosters flew again for the first time in March - an important proof-of-concept in SpaceX's pursuit of reusability. SpaceX is now undertaking an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew. If successful, this would have a huge significance to space travel as a whole, CBS News reports.

On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 6,000 pounds of supplies - everything from food for the crew to fruit flies and rodents that will be used in various experiments.

"The majority of this Dragon has been in space before", Koenigsmann told the press before the scheduled launch. Originally launched in 2014, SpaceX had to change out some of the components, but most of it took this ride on SpaceX-4. The Musketeers haven't given a figure on how much reusing the dragon capsule will save, but it's expected to be a lot. Next launch is set for Saturday at 5:07 p.m.

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The Dragon will stay docked for about a month, and it will be loaded with lab results and garbage before it heads home. Moments later, SpaceX halted the countdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center with just 25 minutes remaining.

It is the fifth attempt to land on land; the other four were successful (Dec. 31, 2015; July 18, 2016; February 18, 2017: and May 1, 2017). Space fans can view the launch webcast on YouTube. SpaceX now wants to develop and deploy fully and rapidly reusable spaceflight systems to slash space mission costs.

The weather looks somewhat iffy at this time with a 70% chance of favorable conditions at launch time according to Air Force meteorologists with the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base.

Science experiments packed into Dragon include ways to study roll-out solar panels, neutron stars, osteoporosis, microgravity's effects on cardiovascular health, Earth-observation tools and more.

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