SpaceX Set to Launch 18th Resupply Mission to International Space Station

SpaceX To Launch First Heavy Lift Rocket In Demonstration Mission

HAWTHORNE (CNS) - Hawthorne-based SpaceX will attempt today to launch a supply mission to the International Space Station, carrying more than a ton of cargo -- and some green slime.

The mission will be the 18th supply flight carried out by SpaceX under contract with NASA. The launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida is scheduled for 3:24 p.m. California time.

The Dragon spacecraft carrying the cargo has been to the International Space Station twice before, in April 2015 and December 2017, according to SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket that will boost the capsule into space was used previously in May. SpaceX will again attempt to recapture the first stage of the rocket by piloting it back to Cape Canaveral.

Once launched, the Dragon spacecraft will take about two days to reach to International Space Station, arriving early Friday morning.

Among the cargo being carried to the station, supporting an array of scientific experiments, will be a batch of slime. Kids' TV network Nickelodeon, known for dousing guests with green slime on the air, is sending a sample of the gooey substance to the space station “for a series of science demonstrations that will educate students on the basic principles of fluid flow in microgravity versus normal gravity on Earth.”

The German athletic-supply company adidas, meanwhile, will be sending various experiments to the space station, with one “examining the dynamic spinning behavior of a soccer ball in microgravity, which could help resolve information gaps in aerodynamic testing.”

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is also sending an experiment to the space station to study the creation of “novel silica forms and structures in microgravity,” hoping to develop manufacturing techniques back on Earth that will improve tire performance.

Photo: Getty Images

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