SpaceX has launched its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station along with NASA research payloads and a new observation facility to support future space exploration efforts beyond low-Earth orbit.
NASA said Saturday that Dragon lifted off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday at 11:50 p.m. EST.
The capsule carried 4.3K pounds of scientific studies intended to support microgravity research, discover new medical treatments and shed insight into the impact of long-duration spaceflight into human organs.
The mission also includes a European Space Agency and Airbus-built observation facility to be integrated with ISS's European Columbus Module.
The Bartolomeo facility is meant to provide “unobstructed views both toward Earth and into space“ while supporting applications such as astrophysics, material science and robotics, NASA said.
Dragon is slated to arrive at ISS on Monday and remain there until April 9.
The delivery serves as the 20th SpaceX cargo mission under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services program.