Last Updated: Sunday, October 07, 2012, 10:25 PM
A Falcon 9 rocket is on its way to the International Space Station after lifting off from Cape Canaveral Sunday evening.
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"Lift off, lift off of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, launching Dragon to the International Space Station and returning cargo resupply missions to U.S. soil," the launch announcer said as the rocket took off.
About an hour before the scheduled launch, officials improved weather conditions to 80 percent.
The SpaceX rocket is carrying up approximately 1,000 pounds of cargo to the ISS in a capsule attached to the rocket.
This is the first of 12 contracted missions between SpaceX and NASA to resupply the ISS.
Not only will the mission bring cargo to the ISS, it is the first time it will bring back significant research and samples.
"When you have a launch vehicle that's in your country, it just makes it a lot easier because literally shipping and customs can kill you when you're trying to get overseas, and this really makes the process faster, and allows us to react to anomalies in real time," said ISS Director Sam Scimemi.
The cargo also includes vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream for the crew of the ISS.
Since the retirement of the shuttle program over a year ago, NASA has had to rely on Russia to get astronauts in and out of space.
Because the rocket is headed straight to the space station, SpaceX only had one shot to launch at 8:35 p.m.
Earlier, rain and cloud concerns meant for a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for the launch.
NASA managers said the rocket will stay at the ISS for approximately three weeks, depending on the crew's needs.