Let’s try this again: SpaceX is looking to launch its 18th International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission on Thursday at 6:01 PM ET (3:01 PM PT), a day after it tried to do so a first time. The initial attempt was scrubbed at the last minute due to weather conditions on the launch range in Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, but there’s a backup window today so Elon’s rocket company will try again. The stream above will begin about 15 minutes beforehand.
CRS-18 will send a Dragon cargo capsule with 5,000 lbs of experiment materials, supplies and other cargo including a new automated docking sleeve to the ISS. This mission is one of the last in SpaceX’s current ISS resupply contract, which covers 20 total engagements – but NASA and SpaceX essentially re-upped for a second batch through 2024 as part of a new contract signed in 2016.
The Dragon cargo craft used on this mission has actually flown two previous ISS resupply missions, and will be the first to manage a third should this trip go as planned. It’ll rendezvous with the ISS in a few days, be unloaded by astronauts and re-loaded with return cargo, before detaching from the ISS and returning to Earth to splash down in the Pacific Ocean for recovery. Dragon will launch aboard a Falcon 9 first-stage booster that was used just a couple of months ago for the most recent CRS mission, too.