A privately owned rocket blasts off Sunday night on the first of a dozen space station supply missions under a mega-contract with NASA.
It will be the second time that the California-based SpaceX company tries to launch a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.
Last May, a test flight went well. Now the real work is about to begin under a $1.6 billion contract between NASA and SpaceX. This will be the first of 12 resupply missions under that contract.
“Are you ready to hear the (hash)Dragon roar!” SpaceX said in a Twitter update.
SpaceX raised the Falcon rocket, vertically, at its launch pad Sunday afternoon in advance of the 8:25 p.m. liftoff. Forecasters said there’s a 40 percent chance that storm clouds or rain could interfere. The good news was that a piece of space junk was no longer threatening the orbiting lab, and NASA could focus entirely on the delivery mission.
NASA is counting on private business to restock the space station, now that the shuttles have retired to museums.