SpaceX, the rocket company spearheaded by Elon Musk (Tesla co-founder), completed another successful launch on Saturday, June 3rd.
After a two-day delay caused by unfavorable weather, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully blasted off to deliver the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) this past Saturday for its 11th completed mission. The capsule carried around 6,000 lbs of supplies and materials for ISS crew and to support scientific experiments. After orbiting around the Earth for 36 hours, the capsule was ready to dock with the ISS. The Dragon was captured by the station’s Canadarm robotic appendage early Monday morning, with astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer aboard. According to TechCrunch, the Dragon capsule will remain at the ISS for around a month and then re-enter Earth’s atmosphere with a controlled de-orbit burn. SpaceX hopes to recover the capsule again so they can reuse it for a future mission.
This mission marked another milestone for SpaceX as it is the first recycled cargo craft to be used in a delivery. The Dragon capsule used for the mission made a previous delivery to the ISS nearly three years ago. SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted Sunday morning: “It’s starting to feel kinda normal to reuse rockets. Good. That’s how it is for cars & airplanes and how it should be for rockets.”
This mission reaffirms the company’s goal of lowering the cost of access to space through reusability.
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Photo: courtesy of Spacex.com