SpaceX is having a very big week.
On Monday, it launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, which was headed to space—and the record books. As USA Today notes, the rocket’s booster was the first Falcon 9 to launch three missions, an important part of the company’s plan to reduce costs by reusing rockets. The booster was also the first to launch from all three of SpaceX’s pads (Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Vandenberg). If that wasn’t impressive enough, the launch was also SpaceX’s 19th launch of the year—the previous record was 18—and it still has three more launches planned before the year is out.
To cap off this very big week, Elon Musk’s company today is planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with thousands of pounds of cargo bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon capsule will deliver more than 5,600 pounds of food and supplies to the crew, as well as scientific experiments, including the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, which will measure the impact of climate change on the world’s forests. It’s SpaceX’s 16th cargo mission as part of its contract with NASA.
Here’s how to watch the launch, which is scheduled to take off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:16 p.m. ET:
The launch was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but was delayed due to *checks note* moldy mouse food. According to Space.com, if all goes according to plan, the Dragon will reach the space station three days from now, and the ISS crew can start unpacking the load. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January.
Falcon 9 and Dragon went vertical early this morning ahead of today’s resupply mission to the @Space_Station. Dragon is loaded with more than 5,600 pounds of cargo; all systems and weather are for go for launch at 1:16 p.m. EST, 18:16 UTC. https://t.co/gtC39uBC7z pic.twitter.com/DMchykli0U
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 5, 2018
Get there early and meet all the student teams that are launching science to the @Space_Station! Student presentations will be held in the ‘Journey to Mars’ Theater from 10:00-10:40am ET. pic.twitter.com/r6sklxeiD9
— ISS National Lab (@ISS_CASIS) December 5, 2018