Dec. 5 (UPI) -- After a delay caused by moldy mouse treats, SpaceX launched the latest space station resupply mission for NASA on Wednesday.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule blasted-off from Cape Canaveral at 1:16 p.m. ET.
The launch cargo resupply mission, the 16th carried out by SpaceX, was broadcast live on NASA TV.
Shortly after a safe liftoff, the rocket's first and second stages separated.
"Main engine cutoff and stage separation confirmed," SpaceX announced on Twitter.
The second stage successfully put the Dragon cargo ship in the proper orbit to rendezvous with the International Space Station. After achieving a stable orbit, Dragon unfolded its solar arrays, which will aid its multi-day journey to the space station.
Not everything went smoothly, however. The Falcon 9's first stage was supposed to touch down on a landing pad back at Cape Canaveral, but instead, it spun out of control and crashed into the Atlantic. It's the first time since SpaceX began reusing its rockets that an attempted ground landing has failed.
The rocket launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but officials decided to delay the launch after inspectors found mold on food bars for an experiment involving lab mice. The food bars were replaced and the payload is ready to travel to the space station.
The rodent investigation is one of several dozen science experiments packed inside the Dragon cargo ship. Investigations on the International Space Station are organized by both NASA and the ISS National Lab.
"[CRS-16] is absolutely packed with research," Patrick O'Neill, spokesperson for the ISS National Lab, told UPI.
Experiments on the SpaceX payload involve a variety of scientific fields, including genomics, cellular biology, botany, immunology and more.
ISS National Lab fields investigations proposed by researchers from a variety of institutions, including other federal agencies, public universities, major corporations, startups and more.
The 2,200 pounds worth of experiments, in addition to tools and supplies, will arrive two days after a trio of new astronauts were welcomed to the space station. The new crew members will assist in the docking of the Dragon cargo ship.
NASA TV will provide live coverage of the Dragon's docking early Saturday.