Elon Musk\u2019s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched a rocket carrying more than 5,600 pounds of crew supplies, science investigations and spacewalk equipment Wednesday as part of its longstanding contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:16 p.m. local time. The payload in the Dragon capsule includes technology to test robotic spacecraft refueling and to map the world\u2019s forests, along with two student experiments inspired by Marvel\u2019s \u201cGuardians of the Galaxy\u201d series, according to NASA. The rocket\u2019s first stage went into the water instead of touching down on land. Musk tweeted about the problem: Dragon is slated to rendezvous with the orbiting lab early Saturday and re-enter Earth\u2019s atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California in January, according to NASA. READ ALSO |\u00a0Googlers write to CEO demanding equal treatment for contractors Wednesday\u2019s mission, known as CRS-16, marks SpaceX\u2019s 20th launch of the year, up from a record 18 in 2017. The company has been able to cut costs and win market share by designing its rockets and spacecraft for reusability. The Dragon capsule last flew to the space station in February 2017. Successful Missions The Hawthorne, California-based company\u2019s valuation has climbed to about $28 billion as it has racked up successful missions, making it the third-most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S. after Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. SpaceX has a contract to ferry American astronauts to the space station as part of what\u2019s known as the Commercial Crew program with NASA, but the timeline for the first flights has slipped repeatedly. The agency\u2019s current schedule has SpaceX\u2019s first uncrewed demonstration flight on January 7 and the first flight with astronauts on board in June.