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SpaceX Dragon set for next resupply mission to ISS

PTI | Washington |

SpaceX is all set to launch the Dragon spacecraft for its 11th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 1.

Liftoff is targeted for 5:55 p.m. EDT on June 1 (3.25 a.m Friday India time) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the US space agency said. 

"This will be the sixth SpaceX rocket to take off from the historic pad further emphasising the centre's role as a premier, multi-user spaceport," NASA said on Wednesday. 

The company's 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket will boost a Dragon capsule filled with supplies and experiments. 

The payload will include important materials to support more than 250 science and research investigations taking place during Expeditions 52 and 53.

The flight will deliver investigations and facilities that study neutron stars, osteoporosis, solar panels, tools for Earth-observation, and more.

When the Dragon arrives at the space station, US astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer will grapple Dragon using the station's 57-foot-long robotic arm. 

Ground commands then will be sent from mission control for the station's arm to rotate and install the Dragon capsule to the station's Harmony module.

The Expedition 51 crew will unpack the Dragon and begin working with the experiments.

The Dragon capsule will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, remaining until early July. 

The spacecraft then will return to Earth with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, NASA said.