CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and NASA are slipping launch of the next Dragon cargo capsule to the international space station to March 16, a three-week delay, officials said Feb. 5.

SpaceX’s ninth Falcon 9 rocket, carrying an unmanned Dragon spaceship, is due to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 4:41 a.m. EDT March 16. The flight previously was targeted for Feb. 22.

A combination of SpaceX readiness, splashdown dates and station activities drove the selection of the new launch date, NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the cause of the delay.

Byerly said the recent swath of bad weather that has blanketed the United States may have delayed SpaceX’s ability to transport the first stage of its Falcon 9 launcher to the Cape in time to support a Feb. 22 launch.