SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off
A SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off on a previous flight. Courtesy SpaceX

After a one-day delay due to bad weather, Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched a re-supply mission to the International Space Station, carrying cargo including a soccer ball and a batch of Nickelodeon green slime.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida shortly after 3 p.m. California time, propelling a Dragon capsule packed with more than 5,000 pounds of cargo toward the space station. The liftoff had been set for Wednesday afternoon, but bad weather forced SpaceX to scrub that launch and push the mission to Thursday.

The mission is 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 boosted the capsule into space was used previously in May, also for a space station supply mission. SpaceX successfully recovered the rocket’s first stage by landing it back at Cape Canaveral so it can be reused in future missions.

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, is 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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