SpaceX is poised to resume station deliveries for NASA and it couldn't have a more attention-grabbing payload: the first inflatable room ever built for astronauts.
Bigelow Aerospace is providing the futuristic pop-up pod, which swells to the size of a small bedroom. It's a testbed for orbiting rental property that the North Las Vegas company hopes to launch in four years, and also for moon and Mars habitats.
The unmanned Falcon rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:43 p.m. Friday. It will be SpaceX's first shipment for the International Space Station in a year. A launch accident halted cargo flights last June. As usual, SpaceX will try to land the leftover booster on an ocean barge, as a way to shave launch costs.