SpaceX’s crew flights have caught attention lately, but the unmanned variety is about to regain focus. The company is launches its first payload Dragon capsule for the first time at 11:17 a.m. east of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission to the CRS-21 International Space Station comes nine months after the original Dragon was last launched and is the most important milestone in the fact that they will do little work. This should be the most reliable carrier for SpaceX.
The new Cargo Dragon is a change from the Crew Dragon, which can dock autonomously with the ISS, instead of asking for help from astronauts who run Canadarm. It also has a 20% higher load volume than the previous load model, as well as twice the locker power. It should last longer than the first capsules. It can be attached to the ISS more than twice, and is now designed for a five-way trip.