A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 11:50 p.m. EST Friday.
Dragon will deliver more than 4,300 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including a new science facility scheduled to be installed to the outside of the station during a spacewalk this spring.
The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is scheduled to arrive at the orbital outpost on Monday, March 9.
Dragon will join three other spacecraft currently at the station. When it arrives, NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will grapple Dragon, backed up by NASA’s Jessica Meir. Coverage of robotic installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Dragon is scheduled to remain at the space station until April 9, when the spacecraft will return to Earth with research and cargo.
This delivery, SpaceX’s 20th cargo flight to the space station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, will support dozens of new and existing investigations. NASA’s research and development work aboard the space station contributes to the agency’s deep space exploration plans, including future Moon and Mars missions.