By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX is about to launch a few tons of research to the International Space Station — plus ice cream.

An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to blast off at 12:31 p.m. Monday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

Experiments make up most of the 6,400 pounds of cargo. That includes 20 mice. The Dragon capsule is also doubling as an ice cream truck this time. There was extra freezer space, so NASA packed little cups of vanilla, chocolate and birthday cake ice cream for the station’s crew of six, as well as ice cream candy bars. Those treats should be especially welcomed by U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson, in orbit since November.

As usual on these cargo flights, SpaceX will try to land its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral.


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