A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches a Cargo Dragon-2 spacecraft for NASA on its 26th resupply mission from Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Fa., on Saturday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 27 (UPI) -- SpaceX's 26th resupply mission for NASA docked successfully at the International Space Stattion on Sunday morning, a day after liftoff aboard the Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida.
The private company confirmed the docking at 7:39 a.m. Liftoff at pad 39A had been delayed from Tuesday because of bad weather.
At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the rocket launched with more than than 7,700 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo, including belayted Thanksgiving food.
About 12 minutes later, Cargo Dragon was released to fly on its own.
The Falcon 9 booster landed aboard a SpaceX drone ship Just Read the Instructions stationed in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 miles from the launch site.
The cargo spacecraft will remain at the ISS for about 45 days, returning with research and return cargo. It will splash down off the coast of Florida.
Dragon has had 37 total launches, including 32 to the ISS with 15 reflown missions.
SpaceX has four human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft, capable of carryi ngh up to seven passngers. They are the only spacecraft now returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
Items delivered include:
-- Veg-05 focuses on growing dwarf tomatoes as part of continuous source of nutritious food essential for long-duration exploration missions with the first one available in spring. A plant growth unit known as Veggie has successfully grown a variety of leafy greens to supplement a typicall pre-packaged food diet.
"Tomatoes will be a new adventure for us on the veggie team, trying to figure out how to keep these thirsty plants well watered without overwatering," Gioia Massa, NASA's space crop production scientist and principal investigator for the tomato study, said in an CNN report.
-- Two Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or iROSAs, to complete the upgrade of half the station's power channels. They will be installed outside the floating laboratory during spacewalks scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.
They are the third and fourth of six being installed on the space station in a $103 million upgrade.
-- Moon Microscope used for in-flight medical diagnosis with small self-contained blood sample staining device.Flight surgeons use them to diagnose illness and prescribe treatment.
-- Phase two of the five-year BioNutrients program. The program began withBioNutrients-1 in 2019. BioNutrients-2 employs a smaller system with a heated incubator that promotes growth of beneficial organisms.
-- Falcon Goggles hardware captures high-speed video of eyes, providing precise data on ocular alignment and balance.
-- Trearts includng ice cream and Thanksgiving fare of spicy green beans, cranberry apple desserts, pumpkin pie and candy corn.