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SpaceX set to launch supply rocket to space station on Friday

February 25, 2013|By W.J. Hennigan
  • Inside the SpaceX Falcon Hangar at Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Inside the SpaceX Falcon Hangar at Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air… (NASA / Jim Grossmann )

Hawthorne-based rocket maker SpaceX is targeting Friday as the launch date for the next NASA cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station.

The company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., performed a successful resupply mission to the space station in October and a demonstration mission back in May.

SpaceX is the only commercial company to perform such a task.

Blastoff of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 7:10 a.m. PST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage begins at 5:30 a.m.

During the mission, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is set to be packed with more than 1,200 pounds of scientific experiments and cargo for the astronauts aboard the space station. It will remain attached to the orbiting outpost for more than three weeks and return with more than 2,300 pounds of cargo.

The capsule is then slated to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on March 25.

SpaceX has secured a $1.6-billion contract to carry out 12 such cargo missions, and Friday's mission would be the second.

If the rocket launch is delayed, a backup date is available on March 2 with launch time at 6:47 a.m.

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