SpaceX, NASA plan early-morning launch Friday

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SpaceX and NASA have planned a rare early-morning launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on the Falcon 9 rocket Friday, to send supplies and new scientific research to the International Space Station (ISS).

The launch from SpaceX’s Launch Complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is scheduled for 5:42 a.m. Friday, June 29. This will mark the Dragon’s 15th commercial supply mission to the ISS.

NASA says there’s a new batch of science headed to the ISS on this mission, including research materials for artificial intelligence, plant water use, gut health in space, drug development, and the formation of inorganic structures without the influence of Earth’s gravity. 

ISS scientists will now study things like the use of artificial intelligence to help crews manage stress and workload during spaceflight, how plants regulate their temperature in space, how spaceflight impacts the community of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, and potential treatments for cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

NASA says these investigations join hundreds of others currently happening on the ISS.