SpaceX Mission Rescheduled Due to Moldy Mouse Food

The launch was pushed back after mold was found on food bars intended for the mice in an experiment on the International Space Station.

Spacecraft launches can be postponed for any number of reasons — weather and equipment problems being two of the most common. This week, a SpaceX Dragon launch was pushed back after mold was found on food bars.

It's understandable that a resupply mission is essentially worthless if some of the supplies are rotten, but the particular food bars in question were earmarked for mice. They were going to be used for an experiment on the International Space Station, so the entire launch had to be pushed back just to replace the food bars.

On Dec. 5, the two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifted off from Cape Canaveral with a nearly 6,000 pound package aboard the Dragon spacecraft. It is SpaceX's 16th commercial cargo mission to resupply the space station.

Aboard the Dragon spacecraft are experiments such as the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) that will work on the storage and transfer of cryogenic fluid, which is used for propulsion and life support systems, and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) system, which takes high-quality laser ranging observations of Earth’s forests and topography to better understand carbon and water cycling processes and biodiversity.

Oh, and don't forget the fresher food bars for the mice.

SpaceX, which is known for reusing rockets, actually crashed its first Falcon 9 since 2015. The company disrupted the the commercial space market by successfully reusing rockets, which presented a tremendous cost savings. 

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