Two days after lifting off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Complex 40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a commercial Dragon supply ship loaded with more than 4,800 pounds of supplies and experiments arrived Sunday at the International Space Station. Capture of the robotic cargo craft occurred at 5:57 a.m. EST (1057 GMT).
Ready to double its Florida launch capacity with two pads, SpaceX is preparing to loft a reused robotic cargo ship toward the International Space Station Wednesday with a recycled Falcon 9 booster, debuting a rebuilt launch complex knocked offline more than a year ago in a fiery blast during pre-flight testing.
In a reshuffling of SpaceX’s launch schedule, a Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff no earlier than Dec. 8 on a mission to deliver several tons of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station and return to service a Cape Canaveral launch pad damaged in a catastrophic rocket explosion last year.
Japan’s sixth HTV supply ship departed the International Space Station on Friday and headed for a destructive re-entry over the South Pacific with trash and disused batteries from the research lab, but engineers will first use the spacecraft for a pioneering experiment to investigate a new way to remove space junk from orbit.