Falcon 9 CRS-15 Dragon spacecraft launched | Watch Video
New Delhi: Space X has successfully launched CRS-15 Dragon with nearly 6,000 lbs of cargo to the International Space Station before dawn on Friday.
The Dragon ship is slated to reach the ISS on Monday and is mostly filled with science experiments, food, water, and other supplies. But the mission contains a few extra goodies for astronauts, including a flying, talking, interactive robotic head.
The used Falcon rocket blasted off before dawn, hauling nearly 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of cargo, including the first robot with artificial intelligence bound for space, genetically identical mice, or mousetronauts, and super-caffeinated coffee for the crew of the International Space Station.
On the eve of the launch, SpaceX said: “SpaceX is targeting Friday, June 29 for an instantaneous launch of its fifteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-15) at 5.42am EDT, or 9.42am UTC, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Dragon will separate from Falcon 9’s second stage about nine minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff and attach to the space station on Monday, July 2.
“A backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, July 1 at 4.54am EDT, or 8.54am UTC.”
The Falcon 9 will deliver a robotic cargo module, dubbed the Dragon, to the ISS to resupply the space laboratory.
The launch marks the company’s 15th orbital delivery to the ISS.
SpaceX tweeted: “Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting June 29 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon’s fifteenth mission to the International Space Station.”
The SpaceX launch comes off the back of the SES-12 satellite delivery on Monday, June 4.
The SES-12 mission saw SpaceX successfully deliver a geostationary satellite into orbit above Earth.
The company said: “SES-12 is a uniquely designed satellite that will allow telephone companies, mobile network operators and internet service providers to deliver more reliable cellular backhaul and faster broadband service.
“From its orbital position, SES-12 will also be pivotal in supporting government efforts to bridge the digital divide through connectivity programs and provide television operators with additional capacity to deliver more content and higher picture quality to meet customer demand.
“With six wide beams and 72 high throughput user spot beams, SES-12 is one of the largest geostationary satellites SES has procured.”
The satellite developed for SES by Airbus Defence and Space.
After launch, SpaceX did not attempt to recover the reusable Falcon 9 booster rocket.