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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket with its Dragon capsule (which will deliver the goods to the ISS) launched at 5:42 a.m. ET amid good weather conditions and with no technical difficulties.

The closely held company controlled by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket and payload from Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida about 5:44 a.m. local time. Jessica Jensen, director of the Dragon Mission Management in SpaceX, said in a press conference before the mission "Our teams have gained immensely in the renewal process".

SpaceX's spacecraft is scheduled to commence in August its mission to return to Earth to allow NASA to retrieve 3,800 pounds of hardware, research and supplies from the ISS.

The space agency is sending a large, round, plastic robot to the ISS as part of SpaceX's latest supply delivery to the International Space Station.

They did the same with Scott and Mark Kelly, Nasa's former identical twin astronauts, during Scott's year-long space station mission a few years ago.

Capital Gazette Shooting Puts Spotlight on Facial-Recognition Technology
Jarrod Ramos, 38, is accused of killing five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis , Maryland, on June 28, 2018 . The report did not say how he pleaded, though reports on Thursday indicated he was not cooperating with authorities.

According to NASASpaceFlight.com, CIMON features ultrasonic sensors for collision detection as well as various cameras and microphones to help it maneuver around the spacecraft and interact with space crew. "It is meant to show to what extent the astronauts' work can be supported in the European Columbus module on the ISS and relieve them, in particular, of routine tasks", said Christian Karrasch, CIMON Project Manager at the DLR Space Administration.

All six crew members at the orbiting outpost can speak to CIMON, though it has been taught to work best with Gerst.

The robot, called Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON), has been developed by Airbus in partnership with IBM. Dragon separated from Falcon 9s second stage about nine minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff and is on its way to the International Space Station, now expected to arrive early on the morning of July 2nd.

An Earth science instrument called the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will provide a new space-based measurement of how plants respond to changes in water availability. In a news release, NASA said that gear "will support dozens of investigations aboard the space station".

Another experiment aims to help scientists learn how cells that line blood vessels grow in space in order to inform a novel cancer treatment.