NASA and SpaceX have targeted today, Wednesday December 5, to launch their 16th SpaceX mission to the ISS. Today’s SpaceX launch was previously postponed after mould was found on food bars in the cargo hold. The extraordinary mission will ferry 2.5 tonnes of supplies to the the orbiting laboratory, including materials to support 250 experiments.
How to watch SpaceX blast off to the ISS live online:
The launch time for today’s launch is scheduled for 6.16 pm GMT (1.16 pm. EST).
The Falcon 9 will blast off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The rocket is carrying the Dragon spacecraft in orbit.
The launch can be viewed online for free via the SpaceX YouTube channel here.
The webcast below should begin about 20 minutes before liftoff.
READ MORE: Was Einstein WRONG? Scientists probe supermassive BLACK HOLE to disprove theory of gravity
Today continues an extraordinary week for orbital launches.
Monday witnessed both a Soyuz rocket blasting three newcomers to the ISS and a Falcon 9 rocket taking 64 smallsats into orbit 310 miles (500 km) above Earth.
The flurry of activity continued on Tuesday when an Ariane 5 rocket carried two large satellites to geostationary transfer orbit.
Friday will see two separate Chinese rocket launches.
READ MORE: Black hole BREAKTHROUGH: Scientists ‘REWRITE astronomy textbooks’ with space discovery
One will carry the Chang’e 4 mission – an attempt to make the first-ever successful landing on the far side of the Moon.
And Friday also see, United Launch Alliance’s powerful Delta IV Heavy rocket launch from California Vandenberg Air Force Base – a classified spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.
2018 has so far seen 101 orbital launches – the most since 1990.
Today’s mission is especially significant for Elon Musk’s company.
READ MORE: Hunt for aliens ‘only just BEGINNING’ says top scientist
This is SpaceX’s 20th launch for the year 2018, surpassing its record number launches by two.
And SpaceX has two more missions planned for 2018: a critical Global Positioning System flight for the Air Force from Cape Canaveral in Florida and another ferrying 10 commercial satellites.
Today’s SpaceX launch will use a new Block 5 booster.
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage will attempt a landing at SpaceX’s site along the coast, Landing Zone 1.