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article imageSpaceX targets Wednesday, May 1 for Dragon cargo launch

By Karen Graham     Apr 28, 2019 in Technology
After a successful static fire test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Saturday morning, SpaceX is now targeting early Wednesday to launch its 17th resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The uncrewed Dragon resupply ship will now launch to the ISS Wednesday at 3:59 a.m. EDT (0759 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. At this time, the weather is 80 percent "GO" for launch.
The resupply mission was originally scheduled to launch on April 26 before delays pushed it to early Tuesday morning and now Wednesday. The static fire test (a standard SpaceX activity before every launch), was successfully completed on Saturday.
"Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete — targeting May 1 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon's seventeenth mission to the @Space_Station," SpaceX representatives said in a Twitter update on the mission.
The change in the mission launch date also gave NASA and SpaceX more time to continue with their investigation into the accident that occurred on April 20 at the landing zone during testing of the abort engines for the crew version of the Dragon spacecraft.
With SpaceX's 17th delivery flight to the ISS, the Dragon spacecraft will be carrying over 5,500 lbs. (2,495 kilograms) of fresh supplies, experiment hardware, and other gear to the Expedition 59 astronauts currently on the space station. After the initial launch, the Falcon rocket booster will land back on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed just offshore, instead of Landing Zone 1 at the Cape.
In the meantime, SpaceX is also getting ready for another big mission - The next launch of its massive Falcon Heavy megarocket. Last week, SpaceX successfully test-fired the center core stage of the Falcon Heavy that will be used to launch the Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission for the U.S. Air Force. The current targeted launch date for the STP-2 mission is sometime in June, according to Spaceflight Now, while NASA and SpaceX were not so specific on a mission date.
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