SpaceX has launched the Dragon spacecraft to deliver a crew docking port, science investigation payloads and supplies to the International Space Station.
A Falcon 9 rocket carried the spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday, NASA said Friday. Dragon will tentatively arrive at the ISS on Saturday.
The spacecraft’s unpressurized cargo contains International Docking Adapter-3, which is hardware designed to facilitate crew docking activities at ISS. IDA-3 will position over ISS’ Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 linked to the Harmony module. The Harmony module supports the distribution of air, water and other utilities across different ISS components.
NASA will work with Canada’s space agency to remotely position IDA-3 in preparation for final installation. The adapter is ISS’ second crew docking port, following IDA-2.
Dragon also carried scientific payloads that tackle multiple investigative topics, such as in-space biological tissue printing, bio-mining in microgravity and in-orbit tire manufacturing.