Bad weather in Florida Wednesday forced Hawthorne-based SpaceX to delay the planned launch of a supply mission to the International Space Station.
The launch from Cape Canaveral had been scheduled for 3:24 p.m. California time, but cloudy conditions never relented, forcing a delay. The company will try again Thursday, with the launch planned for 3:01 p.m. Pacific time.
The mission, when launched, will be the 18th International Space Station supply flight carried out by SpaceX under contract with NASA.
The Dragon spacecraft carrying the cargo has been to the International Space Station twice before, in April 2015 and December 2017, according to SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket that will boost the capsule into space was used previously in May, also for a space station supply mission. SpaceX will again attempt to recapture the first stage of the rocket by piloting it back to Cape Canaveral.
Once launched, the Dragon spacecraft will take about two days to reach to International Space Station.
Among the cargo being carried to the station, supporting an array of scientific experiments, will be a batch of green slime. Kids’ TV network Nickelodeon, known for dousing guests with green slime on the air, is sending a sample of the gooey substance to the space station “for a series of science demonstrations that will educate students on the basic principles of fluid flow in microgravity versus normal gravity on Earth.”
The German athletic-supply company adidas, meanwhile, will be sending various experiments to the space station, with one “examining the dynamic spinning behavior of a soccer ball in microgravity, which could help resolve information gaps in aerodynamic testing.”
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is also sending an experiment to the space station to study the creation of “novel silica forms and structures in microgravity,” hoping to develop manufacturing techniques back on Earth that will improve tire performance.
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