Another Milestone Reached for SpaceX with the Launch of a Reused Dragon
Today marks another exciting milestone for Elon Musk and the SpaceX team. The launch went on without a hiccup. The weather was cloudy but proved to be just right for the launch. What makes this project so interesting is the fact SpaceX reused a Dragon spacecraft with a previously used Falcon 9 rocket, moving them one step closer to the dream of affordable, efficient, safe, and reusable space flight. Long term, this also feeds into Elon's ambitious plans to colonized Mars in the near future. This year alone Space X has resued three of its Falcon 9 rockets.
From Florida to the International Space Station
The Dragon Spacecraft will be transporting valuable cargo. Impressively for the company, this is the 13th Commerical Resupply Services mission launch. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will be launching the Dragon spacecraft into low global orbit to deliver critical cargo to the space station. The Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft have been tested before on previous missions. Space X's use of the previously flown craft marks the first time any agency "used one of the Hawthorne company’s used rocket boosters." The 2166 kilos of crew supplies and payloads will include essential materials needed for more than 250 science research projects in the orbiting laboratory on the International Space Station.
First of Many Launches
This week's launch marks many firsts for the SpaceX team. The Falcon 9 launch also was the first time SpaceX has launched from the complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida since the 2016 Falcon 9 explosion. Since the failed launch, SpaceX has spent 50 million repairing and upgrading the launch pad. Some of the upgrades include "new automated features to quicken turnaround time between launches."
After the one month orbit, Dragon will return from the space lab, back to Earth with approximately a 1600 kilos payload. The spacecraft will detach itself from the International Space Station and will then proceed to go through with its 10 minutes deorbit burn. Then, after about 30 minutes Dragon will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, landing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
The SpaceX Vision
An Elon Musk company, founded in 2002, SpaceX designs, and manufacturers advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to "revolutionize space technology with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets." The SpaceX team continues to dazzle the aerospace community with their historic milestones.
Did you watch the Space X launch today? What do you think about the success of today's launch?