Friday, March 1, 2013 at 9:16 a.m.
The Dragon capsule during an October 2012 mission.
Today, private aerospace company SpaceX will launch its second mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The launch is set for 10:10 a.m. from Cape Canaveral.
A Falcon 9 rocket will carry a Dragon capsule loaded with 1,200 pounds of supplies. If all goes as planned, the capsule will reach the space station tomorrow, stay docked for three weeks, get loaded back up with 2,300 pounds of cargo -- science projects and garbage from the space station crew -- and return to Earth via a "parachute-assisted splashdown" near Baja, California.
Included in the cargo are parts for the space station's 160 investigations. And, curiously, the new single "Up in the Air" from Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars. The band even scored a visit to Mission Control Houston for a Q&A with Tom Marshburn, one of the astronauts aboard the space station. That will take place March 18.
Not yet sure how that was worked out -- whether the band had to pay for the privilege, whether the astronauts are huge My So Called Life
fans, or whether astronauts are just generally fun-loving and awesome, which is probably the case (see the reading material that they keep in the space station bathroom
, as tweeted recently by commander Chris Hadfield.)