Sep 21, 2014 1:59 AM

SpaceX launches 3-D printer, other station gear

The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) A SpaceX cargo ship is rocketing toward the International Space Station.

The company launched its unmanned Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Sunday aboard a Falcon rocket. It's carrying more than 5,000 pounds of station supplies for NASA, including a 3-D printer, the first one bound for orbit.

Dragon will reach the space station Tuesday. It's the fifth station shipment for the California-based SpaceX.

Sunday's weather was ideal for flying, unlike Saturday, when rain forced a delay.

The 3-D printer was developed by Made in Space, a California company. It's sturdier than Earthly models to withstand the stresses of launch, and meets NASA's strict safety standards. NASA envisions astronauts one day cranking out spare parts as needed. For now, it's a technology demonstrator.


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