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SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Launching to Space Station This Week

SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Attached to the International Space Station
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule attached to the International Space Station during a robotic cargo mission to the orbiting outpost. (Image credit: NASA)

The private spaceflight company SpaceX is planning to launch their fourth official unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station this week. SpaceX's robotic Dragon capsule is now expected to launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting outpost on Saturday (Sept. 20). Dragon was initially expected to launch on Friday (Sept. 19), however, rocket preparations delayed the launch by one day, according to NASA officials.

The launch is now scheduled for Saturday at 1:15 a.m. EDT (0515 Sept. 21 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If the rocket launch is postponed, mission controllers have the option to try again the next day at 1:53 a.m. EDT (0553 Sept. 22 GMT), NASA officials said.

SpaceX's capsule will be packed full of more than 5,000 lbs. (2,270 kilograms) of material for the crewmembers onboard the station. This mission — called SpaceX CRS-4 — is expected to deliver the first 3D printer to the space station. It is also carrying a new Earth-observing instrument, ISS-RapidScat that will help forecasters on the ground monitor potentially severe weather from space. [The Rockets and Spaceships of SpaceX (Photos)]

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Miriam Kramer
Miriam Kramer joined Space.com as a staff writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also serves as Space.com's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. You can follow Miriam on Twitter and Google+.