SpaceX launching space station docking port for NASA

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-16 17:28:11-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- SpaceX aims to launch another load of space station supplies for NASA, including a critical docking port needed by new U.S. crew capsules set to debut next year.

The unmanned Falcon rocket is scheduled to lift off early Monday. Excellent weather is forecast for the 12:45 a.m. launch.

Aboard the rocket is a replica of the docking port destroyed in a SpaceX launch accident last summer. This is port No. 2. NASA needs at least one and preferably two of these ports for crew capsules under development by both SpaceX and Boeing. Americans have been stuck riding Russian rockets to the International Space Station since shuttles stopped flying five years ago this month.

Space will try to land its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral.