UPDATE: Successful SpaceX Launch Brings NASA Pad 39A Back To Life
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule bound for the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A .
The flight is the first from LC 39A since the last space shuttle launched in 2011. SpaceX now leases the pad, along with a second pad at Cape Canaveral. The pad hosted historic missions like Apollo 11 that took the first astronauts to the moon, and the final launch of the space shuttle.
Nine minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed the first stage booster at LZ-1, a facility at Cape Canaveral, in an effort to reuse the rocket and lower the cost of access to space.
The cargo capsule is packed with over 5,000 pounds of supplies and science bound for the International Space Station. On board, an experiment from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Researchers are testing a new image sensor that can be used to observe planets and stars outside of our solar system
A previous launch attempt was aborted in the final seconds of the countdown Saturday. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said an issue with the engine in the rocket’s upper-stage forced the scrub as engineers investigated and fixed the issue.
Sunday’s launch is SpaceX’s first from Florida since an explosion last summer during fueling grounded the fleet.
NASA pays private companies like SpaceX and Orbital ATK to ship supplies to the International Space Station.
(Launch Video: Joey Roulette / WMFE)
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