SpaceX to deliver supplies, new docking port to ISS

After failing two cargo runs since autumn, weekend launch is critical for space station

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A SpaceX rocket will blast off this weekend to deliver food and scientific equipment along with a new docking port to the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth.

The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying almost 2.5 tons of supplies, will be the first cargo vessel to reach the ISS since fall.

A Russian supply ship lost control shortly after launch in April and burned up in the atmosphere. In October, a rocket belonging to spaceflight company Orbital Sciences burst into flames during launch.

If it succeeds this will be the eighth cargo run  for SpaceX since 2012.

“Dragon has been super reliable,” Hans Koenigsmann from SpaceX told reporters Friday.

The cargo ship will also deliver one of the twin ports which will be hooked up by astronauts later this summer and be used by new American capsules.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing crew capsules for NASA, but there won’t be any manned flights from American soil for at least two years.

Until then Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, will continue to send  humans to the ISS.

Roscosmos plans to launch a shipment on Friday before sending three astronauts to the station on July 22.

American Scott Kelly, Russian Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Kadalka – who holds a record of 803 days in space – are currently onboard the space station.

TRTWorld and agencies