A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the CRS-15 Dragon cargo mission for NASA from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 29, 2018.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket establishes the CRS-15 Dragon cargo mission for NASA from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 29, 2018.

(Picture: © SpaceX)

SpaceX has pushed back the launch of its second robotic resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by four days, to April 30.

The California-based firm’s Dragon cargo capsule is currently scheduled to lift off with a Falcon 9 rocket at 4: 22 a.m. EDT (0822 GMT) on April 30 by Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA officials announced today (April 19).

“SpaceX will take advantage of the extra time to perform a static fire test and also pre-flight checkouts,” NASA officials wrote in an upgrade . “Falcon 9 and Dragon are on track to become flight-ready for a previous launch attempt; however, April 30 is currently the most workable date for both NASA and SpaceX because of channel and orbital mechanics limitations.”

Connected: The Way SpaceX’s Dragon Space Capsule Works (Infographic)

The upcoming mission will probably be the 17th flown by SpaceX under its Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. SpaceX additionally holds a deal with the space agency, the conditions of which the organization will meet using a crewed variant of Dragon and the Falcon 9.

Crew Dragon flew its first evaluation mission to the ISS last month. The prosperous six-day flight, known as Demo-1, has been uncrewed. However, Demo-2 will carry two NASA astronauts, and that assignment could lift as soon as the summer. Operational contracted missions to the laboratory will follow from the end of the year.

Boeing also holds a NASA commercial-crew contract. The aerospace giant is targeting August for the introduction mission of its own CST-100 Starliner capsule to the ISS. That flight will be uncrewed.

There’s already a privately built cargo spacecraft docked to the ISS — Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus, that arrived at the orbiting lab early that morning. Much like SpaceX, a NASA resupply Thing is held by Northrop Grumman.

NASA will host a news conference Monday (April 22) in 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) to explore the science payloads that Dragon will proceed into the ISS about the upcoming cargo mission. You can see it live here in, courtesy of NASA TV.

Mike Wall’s book about the hunt for alien life,”Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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