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Space X demo tests Falcon 9 as it gears for cargo launch

SpaceX fired Falcon rocket at CC station on Friday, lighting up 9 Merlin engines while restraints chained it to the floor. This rocket will take off on Wednesday for resupplying the ISS. The launch will be at 2224 GMT, which will bring the CC station into the ISS’s orbital plane region. A Dagon capsule which had previously been used twice in 2015 and 2017 will be used on this launcher.

If all goes as per plan, the carrier will report at the ISS on Friday with experiments, cargo, and food. SpaceX has operated Dragon capsule thrice so far. Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX stated that each Dragon capsule could fly 3 missions. This is the eighteenth launch by SpaceX for NASA. SpaceX has more contracts for supply deliveries, resupply missions and a contract for Crew Dragon module development, which can carry astronauts and cargo simultaneously.

SpaceX’s Falcon will return for attaching Dragon cargo. Its 1st stage will head back to CC and touchdown soon after liftoff. The firing happened on 6 PM EDT, where several issues which had limited the launch earlier were now rectified.The static firing was supposed to be held on Tuesday. However, these troubles have also delayed the mission launch to Wednesday. Its payload includes 3D BioFabrication Facility, by Techshot. Dragon will also carry one habitat with a population of forty female mice. This capsule will turn back with 30 mice after a month spent in orbit. These specimens will be studied to understand spaceflight effects.

The 3rd IDA, built by SpaceX and Boeing, was loaded onto Dragon in June. A docking adapter will also be included, used by Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew modules for linking up with ISS. IDA-3 has been built for replacing a lost unit, by Boeing. IDA-2 had been successfully delivered in 2016. The robotic arm of the ISS will extract IDA-3, placing it in the Harmony module, enabling SpaceX and Boeing modules to park simultaneously.

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