The first launch of a new space era is scheduled to take place on Sunday night as SpaceX prepares to deliver its first NASA-contracted cargo load to the International Space Station.
Sunday’s launch — known as Commercial Resupply Services-1 — will mark the first of 12 contracted flights for SpaceX, totaling $1.6 billion. Like the space startup’s previous launch and ISS test-docking from earlier this year, the company will use a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to deliver about 1,000 pounds to the ISS and bring back more than 1,200 pounds of research equipment and supplies.
Sunday’s scheduled launch is for 8:35 pm EDT. The company performed a static firing of the nine Merlin engines last Saturday, and on Tuesday went through final rehearsal with the entire vehicle being transported to the launch pad and lifted to its vertical positioning.