SpaceX sent 1,950 kilograms of station supplies for NASA once more on Friday night, nailing its 50th rocket landing, reported ABC News. The Falcon rocket, as usual, blasted off, while minutes later, the spent first-stage booster landed back at Cape Canaveral.
"And the Falcon has landed for the 50th time in SpaceX history!" said SpaceX engineer Jessica Anderson at Mission Control. “What an amazing live view all the way to touchdown.”
The mission was particularly impressive since SpaceX CEO said it was the windiest conditions ever, at 40 kph to 48 kph, for a booster landing. However, the CEO revealed he wanted to push the envelope.
After the successful touchdown, Musk tweeted “Envelope expanded."
Envelope expanded https://t.co/WIuWUTAAnh— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2020
The science experiments sent to the International Space Station (ISS) included Adidas shoes for an analysis of cushioning in weightlessness, a study by Delta Faucet Co. for better showerhead water conservation, 3D models of a heart and intestinal tissue, and snippets of grape vines by Space Cargo Unlimited. The cargo also included some tasty treats for the astronauts such as fruits, candy, and chocolates.
The mission also marks the last time one of SpaceX's original Dragon capsules will be used for cargo. From now on, the firm will use larger second-generation Dragons built for crews to launch supplies.
Falcon 9 launches the final mission of the first version of Dragon pic.twitter.com/qkwCxb49OA— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 7, 2020
This was the 20th station delivery for SpaceX. In total, SpaceX has sent nearly 45,360 kilograms of goods to the ISS and returned nearly that much back to Earth since 2012.
SpaceX should be launching NASA astronauts this spring and also aims to fly tourists to the station in the next couple of years.