SpaceX takes rocket reusability to new heights

Falcon 9 liftoff
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (NASA via YouTube)

For the first time, SpaceX has sent a refurbished Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station from a refurbished launch pad, atop a refurbished Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon lifted off at 10:35 a.m. ET (7:35 a.m. PT) today from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

It’s 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.

It’s taken SpaceX that long to finish its repairs and upgrades. In the meantime, the California-based company has been using Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for Falcon 9 launches. Switching back to Pad 40 will free up 39A for the maiden launch of SpaceX’s super-sized Falcon Heavy rocket, a closely watched event that’s currently set for next month.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: