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Upcoming Space station cargo launch

(30 November 2017 - NASA) NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 1:20 p.m. EST Friday, Dec. 8.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kenney Space Center in Florida, the company's 11th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. (courtesy: NASA/Tony Gray)

Loaded with about 4,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. The payloads include crucial materials to directly support several of the more than 250 science and research investigations to be conducted on the orbiting laboratory during Expeditions 53, 54 and 55.

About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit and deploy its solar arrays. A carefully choreographed series of thruster firings are scheduled to allow the spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will grapple Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm. It then will be installed on the station’s Harmony module.

The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station. It will remain until Jan. 6 when the spacecraft will return to Earth with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.