SpaceX is officially an old professional shipping cargo to the International Space Station. With CRS-18, its 18th commercial replenishment mission, the company will seek to continue its successful kite spaceflight. The launch of Dragon was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but the bad weather delayed the attempt.
An opportunity to start a backup is already scheduled for Thursday at 1
SpaceX will attempt to rescue the first stage of the Falcon 9 by returning it to Cape Canaveral for a landing.
The spaceship CRS-18 Dragon looks a bit different than the previous ones. It is launched with anear the side hatch to commemorate the 1969 moon landing.
This special dragon capsule has already traveled to the ISS twice, so there are two space station logos on the other side of the hatch.
Dragon also has four ceramic heat shield tiles tested on theSpaceX next-generation spacecraft.
The cargo mission is full of equipment. Deliveries and experiments. It is particularly equipped with the International Docking Adapter-3, which is attached to the ISS, so that future spacecraft of the NASA Commercial Crew Program (19459007) can dock autonomously. SpaceX and its Crew Dragon vehicle are part of this program, which aims to bring back astronauts from US soil into space.
Dragon will be docked at the ISS for about four weeks before returning to Earth. SpaceX will provide power to the space station by 2024. The CRS-18 mission can be done as usual, but a rocket launch is always a majestic sight.
Originally published on July 24, 10:03, PT.
Update, 15:52 PT: Adds that the launch has been delayed.