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SpaceX to launch cargo Dragon spacecraft to ISS next week

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International Space Station
World   International Space Station

U.S. private spaceflight company SpaceX is scheduled to launch its 16th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 4, NASA said on Wednesday.

The Falcon 9 rocket will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying a cargo Dragon spacecraft loaded with supplies and equipment for scientific research of the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Investigations on this flight include a test of robotic technology for refueling spacecraft, a project to map the world's forests and two student studies inspired by Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" series.

After about one month attached to the space station, Dragon will return with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, said NASA.

The ISS is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and enables research not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. It remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to the moon and eventually to Mars.

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