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SpaceX cargo launch to space station now targeting Wednesday
by Paul Brinkmann
Kennedy Space Center FL (UPI) Jul 24, 2019

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SpaceX's CRS-18 cargo launch to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been pushed back three days to Wednesday.

The launch previously was set for 7:32 p.m. Sunday during a weekend that included the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing. SpaceX didn't provide a new time, but Spaceflight Now reported the time would be approximately 6:24 p.m. Wednesday. "Falcon 9 static fire test complete - targeting July 24 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon's eighteenth resupply mission to the @Space_Station," SpaceX posted on Twitter Friday evening.

Among the private companies sending cargo or experiments to the space station are Goodyear, Nickelodeon, drugmaker AstraZeneca and nScrypt, an Orlando company that is sending a 3D printer to space to make human tissue.

The ISS National Lab says the demand for space-based research and development continues to increase as more companies try new things in microgravity environment the station offers.

It will be the 18th operational mission for the SpaceX Dragon capsule to the station, known as CRS-18. It will carry 2,500 pounds of supplies and experiments on the way up, and 1,300 pounds on its return.

Better tires is the goal of Goodyear's experiment, which will explore ways to improve tire manufacturing and performance by creating silica fillers in microgravity, potentially yielding results not possible on Earth, according to NASA's mission description.

AstraZeneca is sending its second payload to the station, this time studying therapies to treat cancer and immune diseases.

According to NASA's mission description, the nScrypt experiment "could serve as a first step toward achieving the ability to fabricate entire human organs in space."

Source: United Press International

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SpaceX Dragon capsule explosion blamed on titanium valve failure
Orlando FL (UPI) Jul 17, 2019
SpaceX announced Monday that the explosion of its Crew Dragon space capsule during an April test in Florida was due to the failure of a titanium valve. The explosion put the schedule for a crewed flight of SpaceX missions to the International Space Station in doubt. Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX, said sending people up in a Dragon capsule this year still was possible, but would require a lot of things to go right in the remaining months. SpaceX and Bo ... read more

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