After months of delays, SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off today carrying cargo bound for the International Space Station.
The Dragon capsule inside the rocket, which will complete the final leg of the journey to the ISS, contains an array of important science experiments, including NASA’s OPALS project, which will test using a laser to transfer data between the space station and Earth. SpaceX will also deliver parts to repair a broken backup computer that is involved in the ISS’s robotics system.
The launch was originally tentatively scheduled for September 2013, but was pushed by repeatedly by NASA due to limited docking opportunities and equipment issues on the ISS. SpaceX scrubbed a launch on April 14 after experiencing a helium leak.
Today’s take off marks SpaceX’s third mission carrying cargo to the ISS for NASA.