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SpaceX Plans Space Station Mission in August

Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is planning to launch a mission to the International Space Station on Aug. 28.

It will be the 23rd commercial resupply mission for SpaceX, which provides commercial cargo to NASA, the agency said.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will be used in the mission to deliver substances that can protect against radiation to study how space’s environment affects them. It will also carry science projects from NASA, including a robotic arm and a study on the treatment and prevention of bone density loss.

Liftoff is slated for 3:37 a.m. EDT at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX has additional missions in the works with NASA, which in April awarded the company a $2.9 billion contract for construction of a lunar lander. The company received an additional $300 million for the project’s advancement in July after the contract had been suspended.

The suspension came after defense contractor Dynetics and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company — which had also submitted bids — filed protests with the Government Accountability Office, asserting that NASA had to give awards to multiple providers. The agency later denied the protests.
Blue Origin has filed a complaint against NASA in federal court, further pushing back against the NASA contract.

In July, NASA announced that it had given SpaceX a contract for about $178 million to provide launch services for a mission to study Jupiter’s moon Europa. The mission is planned for October 2024.

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