The company plans to debut its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket on a science satellite-delivery mission for the Canadian Space Agency in June. That rocket also will be the first flight from SpaceX’s new launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Five previous Falcon 9 flights have launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Dragon’s return initially was scheduled for Monday, but it was docked an extra day because of high seas in the Pacific. Splashdown is expected about 214 miles (344 km) west of Baja California.
A recovery ship will retrieve the capsule and ferry it back to the Port of Los Angeles, a journey expected to take about 30 hours.
Meanwhile, Orbital Sciences Corp, which holds an eight-flight, $1.9 billion NASA contract for station resupply flights, plans to test launch its new Antares rocket as early as April 16 from the commercial Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Orbital’s Cygnus cargo capsule is targeted to make a demonstration run to the space station later in the year.