NASA, SpaceX ready Dragon spacecraft for Saturday launch

Cargo craft to ferry 5,100 pounds of food, supplies and scientific experiments to space station

falcon spacex

 The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is moved into position in preparation for a Saturday morning launch to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

NASA and SpaceX are preparing the Dragon spacecraft, loaded with more than 5,100 pounds of cargo, for a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is slated to lift off at 4:47 a.m. ET Saturday atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Earlier today, meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron reported an 80% chance of favorable weather for the launch.

If all goes as planned, the cargo craft will rendezvous with the space station on Monday around 6 a.m.

The launch had previously been scheduled for Tuesday but was aborted just one minute and 21 seconds before liftoff because of a problem with the rocket's control system.

The SpaceX launch comes less than three months after Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Cygnus cargo craft and its Antares rocket exploded moments after launch. Orbital Sciences and SpaceX are the two companies that have contracted with NASA to ferry supplies to the space station.

Orbital Sciences is still investigating the accident and has not said when it will launch another resupply mission.

This will be SpaceX's fifth resupply mission.

For this trip, NASA reported that the Dragon cargo craft will carryi 5,108 pounds of food, water, clothing, equipment and scientific experiments. Cargo also includes tools needed for future spacewalks, Russian hardware and an IMAX camera.

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