SpaceX Launches Genetically Enhanced 'Mighty Mice' to International Space Station

ISS crew members will use the station's 17.6-meter robotic arm to capture Dragon and attach it to the orbiting lab on Saturday, according to SpaceX.

It's SpaceX's 19th delivery to the space station for NASA over the past seven years.

Dragon will join three other spacecraft now at the station.

The Progress MS-13/74P spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:34 a.m. EST (12:34 p.m. local time), the moment Earth's rotation carried the launch pad into the plane of the space station's orbit - a requirement for spacecraft attempting to rendezvous with a target moving at almost five miles per second.

This supply, SpaceX's 19th cargo flight to the area station underneath NASA's Business Resupply Providers contract, will assist dozens of latest and current investigations. The launch took place at 12:29 PM EST (9:29 AM PST) from Cape Canaveral in Florida, with a Falcon 9 blasting off with a Dragon cargo capsule on top carrying around 5,200 lbs of payload destined for the ISS.

On board the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for this mission, which has flown twice before but will be retired after it returns to Earth, were a number of intriguing experiments. It will also carry Japan's Hyperspectral Image Suite, a next-generation hyperspectral Earth-imaging system, NASA said. Every material on Earth's surface - rocks, soil, vegetation, snow/ice and human-made objects - has a unique reflectance spectrum.

The company is launching its "Cargo Dragon" capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket for the mission, called CRS-19.

Dubbed the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), this will be used to detect any leaks coming from the space station.

It's so scientists can study the effects space has on the body and how astronauts can stay fit on long space trips.

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