SpaceX triumphs with its first-ever launch of a recycled cargo ship
Why it matters to you
This latest achievement brings SpaceX’s goal of manned missions to Mars that little bit closer.
After a couple of days’ delay because of poor weather, it was all systems go for SpaceX at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday.
Its latest mission — this one sending supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS) — got underway at 5.07 p.m. ET when the Falcon 9 engines fired up to send the unmanned rocket spaceward.
The mission, a success on all fronts, marked another milestone for Elon Musk’s private space company as it was the first re-flight of one of its Dragon spacecrafts. The cargo ship first traveled to the ISS back in September 2014.
Dragon confirmed in good orbit. https://t.co/gtC39uBC7z
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 3, 2017
The accomplishment comes two months after Space X successfully completed the first re-flight — and landing — of an orbital class rocket.
Saturday’s effort also saw the Falcon 9 rocket make a perfect landing back at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station 7 minutes and 40 seconds after leaving terra firma. It’s the eleventh time SpaceX has performed a perfect landing with one of its Falcon 9 rockets
On June 5, the Dragon spacecraft is set to dock with the ISS, where it will stay for the rest of the month. After that it will leave the space station and head back to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Saturday’s flawless mission highlights the impressive progress being made by the SpaceX team in its ongoing quest to create a reliable and cost-effective reusable rocket system that could one day carry humans on trips into deep space.
The entire event was broadcast live on SpaceX’s YouTube channel, with commentary provided throughout explaining the mission’s multiple stages as it proceeded.
In the video above, you can see the Falcon 9 rocket lift off at the 29:55 mark, and also the spectacular rocket landing at 37:25.