Moldy mouse food postpones SpaceX launch

December 4, 2018
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen during a long exposure near Santa Barbara, California on October 7, 2018

SpaceX has postponed its cargo launch to the International Space Station until Wednesday after mold was found on food bars for a mouse experiment bound for the orbiting outpost, NASA said.

The launch was initially set for Tuesday. The new time is 1:16 pm (1816 GMT) Wednesday.

"The launch was moved to Wednesday after mold was found on food bars for a rodent investigation prior to handover to SpaceX," NASA said in a statement late Monday.

"Teams will use the extra day to replace the food bars."

Some 40 mice are part of the experiment aimed at studying the effects of microgravity in the immune system.

The launch will be the 16th for SpaceX, as part of an ongoing contract with NASA to send supplies to the astronauts living at the .

Some 5,600 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of food, experiments and other gear is packed onto the unmanned Dragon cargo ship, which will blast off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Explore further: Cargo-packed Dragon arrives at space station

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