SpaceX Is Launching Its 16th Resupply Mission to the International Space Station
A 3,523-pound payload of supplies will be sent to the ISS on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which is making its second launch in just 48 hours.
SpaceX will launch its Dragon spacecraft on its sixteenth resupply mission to the International Space Station on Wednesday, its second launch in just 48 hours.
The Dragon spacecraft will sit atop SpaceX's notorious Falon 9 rocket which is responsible for boosting the unit on the first leg of its run to the ISS. After Falcon does its part, it will safely return to earth where it will be reclaimed and reused later.
Carrying 3,523 pounds of cargo (a little over one-quarter of the Dragon's capacity), the spacecraft will deliver critical supplies to the ISS, including 670 pounds of provisions for the crew, 445 pounds of hardware for the ISS, 2,286 pounds of scientific apparatus, and 88 pounds of computer equipment.
This mission, aptly called CSR-16, marks the 16th resupply operation launched by SpaceX, and its 20th mission overall in 2018; 19 of which were powered by Falcon 9 rockets (the lone straggler was the launch of Falcon Heavy and Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster). The pair will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida and is expected to remain in space for around five weeks.
SpaceX made history with the Dragon in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft to be contacted by NASA to deliver cargo to the ISS. Aside from the Soviet-crafted Soyuz, the Dragon is the only other spacecraft currently servicing the Space Station.
You can watch the launch of Dragon and Falcon 9 starting around 1 p.m. EST below; liftoff is scheduled to take place at 1:16 p.m. Should the launch be delayed, SpaceX will target Friday, Dec. 7 at 12:28 p.m.