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WASHINGTON, December 12. /TASS/. The launch of SpaceX Dragon spacecraft delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has been rescheduled until December 19, NASA has said.
The liftoff, initially set for December 16, has been delayed to allow SpaceX to “take extra time to ensure they do everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch,” the US space agency said on Thursday.
The launch will take place at 1:20 p.m. EST (1820 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
“Both the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon spacecraft are in good health,” the statement reads.
The Dragon spacecraft is due to arrive at the space station on December 21.
NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore, the commander of Expedition 42, will use the station's 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture it. Italian Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will support Wilmore.
NASA has been using the Dragon capsule since last year. It has already conducted four missions to the ISS. The cargos are also delivered by Russian Progress spaceships and European ATV freighters.
Besides, the US company Orbital Sciences has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA which envisions five resupply flights of a private Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS.