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SpaceX is scheduled to launch its 18th cargo mission for NASA on Thursday, even as thunderstorms in Florida threaten to postpone the liftoff for a second time.
The company is launching its “Cargo Dragon” capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket for the mission, called CRS-18. The capsule has about 2.5 tons of supplies on board, as well as several research and technology payloads that are destined for the International Space Station.
The capsule flying for CRS-18 was reused twice before, having flown the CRS-6 and CRS-18 missions in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Additionally, the rocket’s booster previously launched a SpaceX mission at the beginning of June.
SpaceX launches the first Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket for the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission.
SpaceX plans to land the Falcon 9 rocket’s booster again, intending to return it to the company’s landing pad on the Florida coast. Shortly after liftoff, the lower stage of the rocket will separate and flip, returning to Earth.
Crew Dragon will spend about two days to travel to the space station and is scheduled to dock on Friday.