SpaceX set to launch Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral this week – Florida Today

Posted: March 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm

FLORIDA TODAY's Rob Landers brings you some of today's top stories on the News in 90 Seconds. Florida Today

Get ready to rumble Friday night. And that's not just because it's Friday and it's time to party.

SpaceX is poised to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and cargo Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40 no earlier than 11:50 p.m. Friday.

From there it will head on a three-day journey to the International Space Station where Dragon will deliver science experiments, cargo and supplies to the crew onboard.

This will mark the aerospace company's 20th flight under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract as well as the last time SpaceX uses its Dragon 1 capsule before retiring it to make way to its newer, more advanced spacecraft: Dragon 2.

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The newer spacecraft is not only equipped to carry supplies to and from the space station, but it is also certified to refly up to five times (Dragon 1 for instance, was only certified for three re-flights) and can also carry humans, which could happen as soon as May for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

"Some of the accomplishments of SpaceX under the CRS One program includesthe first U.S. Commercial provider toberth the ISS ... With that we're looking forward to SpaceX continuing on the CRS Two contract with SpaceX-21," said Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist for NASA's International Space Station Program Science Office during a media teleconference.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with cargo for the International Space Station on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Cape Canaveral hosted the liftoff. Florida Today

For this mission, Dragon 1 will deliver several science experiments including:

ACE-T-Ellipsoids: Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology will examine colloids small particles suspended within a fluid in microgravity to not only understand fluid physics more but to advance space-based additive manufacturing, an area of great interest to NASA and other agencies in the U.S.

MVP Cell-03: Emory University School of Medicine will study whether microgravity increases the production of heart cells from specific stem cells, called "human-induced pluripotent stem cells." Those specific cells have the potential to be used toreplenish cells that are damaged or lost due to cardiac diseases.

Flow Chemistry in Microgravity: Researchers from Boston University will study the effects of microgravity on chemical reactions as a step toward on-demand production of chemicals and materials in space.

Droplet Formation Study: Delta Faucet Company will study water droplet formation and water flow in microgravity to gain a better understanding on how to improve its showerhead technology in an effort to create better performance while also conserving water and energy.

Dragon will also deliver the European external payload hosting facility called Bartolomeo that will be an enhancement to the space station's European Columbus Module.

Contact Jaramillo at321-242-3668or antoniaj@floridatoday.com. Follow her onTwitterat@AntoniaJ_11.

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SpaceX set to launch Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral this week - Florida Today

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