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SpaceX will take rocket reusability to new heights

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
A soot-marked SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands on its pad at Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (SpaceX Photo)

For the first time, SpaceX is aiming to send up a refurbished Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station from a refurbished launch pad, atop a refurbished Falcon 9 rocket.

Liftoff is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. ET (7:35 a.m. PT) Dec. 15 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, with webcasts planned by NASA as well as SpaceX.

It’ll be the first mission to take off from Pad 40 since an earlier Falcon 9 went up in flames during a pre-launch test in September 2016, doing significant damage to the complex.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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