The spacecraft, packed with almost 2,700 kg of scientific gear, supplies and vehicle hardware, was lifted off at 5:42 a.m. local time (0942 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its Dragon spacecraft with supplies destined for the International Space Station for longtime customer NASA early Friday, marking the company's 12th launch of the year.
An 11-pound, artificially-intelligent, floating robot head is being sent to the International Space Station (ISS) this week to assist astronauts there, IBM executives announced Thursday.
About 10 minutes into the flight, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon had successfully deployed from the rocket's second stage and was in a "good orbit". Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television and the agency's website beginning at 2:30 a.m. PDT (5:30 a.m. EDT) Monday, July 2.
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.
Mr. Biniok said the concept of CIMON was inspired by a 1940s science fiction comic series set in space, where a sentient, brain-shaped robot named Professor Simon mentors an astronaut named Captain Future.
"CIMON is created to support astronauts in performing routine work, for example, by displaying procedures or - thanks to its "neural" AI network and its ability to learn - offering solutions to problems", Airbus explained in a news release.
ECOSTRESS, short for ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station, will measure how much water plants need and how they respond to stress.
Another experiment aims to help scientists learn how cells that line blood vessels grow in space in order to inform a novel cancer treatment.
Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, U.S. astronauts onboard the ISS, will use the Canadarm2 to grab the Dragon spacecraft.