SpaceX set to launch ISS resupply mission Monday

But real, edible ice cream is also on its way to the space station, as NASA officials said Sunday in a pre-launch news conference.

As usual on these cargo flights, SpaceX will try to land its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral. NASA's deputy International Space Station (ISS) program manager was a bit more cautious, estimating "in the FY2019 period".

The Dragon spacecraft will stay docked to the space station for about a month, after which it will be filled with science experiment results and other items for the return to Earth. Those include a supercomputer from Hewlett Packard Enterprises, as well as an experiment to measure cosmic ray particles in space, called Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass, or ISS-CREAM (as NASA calls it). This marks the 14th successful landing of a Falcon 9 first stage - six on land and eight on autonomous drone ships at sea. Update: The launch went ahead without a hitch, with the Dragon capsule successfully docking with the ISS.

It was SpaceX's 40th Falcon 9 mission and 11th rocket launch this year.

On the bright side, Musk revealed this month that SpaceX is targeting November for the maiden launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

More news: Donald Trump visited the golf course for the 53rd time as President

The latest rocket launch is SpaceX's twelfth cargo resupply mission for the International Space Station.

This time the Dragon will be launching on a Falcon 9 rocket and will bring up almost 6,000 pounds of supplied for those on board the ISS. In other words, SpaceX has recovered the first stage during nearly 40% of all 38 Falcon 9 launches over the last 5 years. That's because the Russian cosmonauts have a planned spacewalk on Thursday, which could conflict with the Dragon meeting up with the station. The weather appears to be 70 percent favourable for the launch. So far, the Dragon spacecraft has already delivered live plants and animals, and many other essential scientific payloads to the orbiting laboratory as well as bringing back to Earth other cargo.

It will also be used to make calculations needed for space research projects. This was due to maintenance work on Cape Canaveral's Eastern Range.

In this photo taken by Russian astronaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, the SpaceX Dragon capsule arrives at the International Space Station on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.

Coverage of the launch on Monday will begin at 12 p.m. EST and will continue until 2 p.m.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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