SpaceX launches rocket carrying AI robot, strong coffee and mice for station crew
A SpaceX rocket that flew just two months ago with a NASA satellite is back in action, launching with fresh station supplies.
The used Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, before dawn Friday.
It’s hauling nearly 6,000 pounds of cargo, including the first robot with artificial intelligence bound for space, genetically identical mice, or mousetronauts, and super-caffeinated coffee for the crew of the International Space Station.
WATCH: Astronaut welcomes first robot with artificial intelligence to ISS
The unpiloted ship is also transporting materials for the Canadian Space Agency, including:
- 57 Canadian food items such as crab, lobster and salmon pâtés, smoked salmon, and maple glazed salmon for David Saint Jacques’ December 2018 mission.
- A spare “hand” for Canadarm2.
The shipment – packed into a Dragon capsule that’s also recycled – should reach the station Monday.
This marks SpaceX’s fastest reflight of a booster. The same first-stage booster launched the planet-hunting Tess satellite in April. The capsule, meanwhile, flew in 2016.
SpaceX won’t retrieve the booster for another flight. The company is switching to a new model.
© 2018 The Canadian Press