The launch slated for 10:36 a.m. will be from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40, which has not been used since a rocket explosion there in 2016. A Falcon 9 rocket that the company previously launched to the ISS in June will loft a used Dragon cargo capsule, filled with supplies and science experiments for the station crew.
Three minutes later, the booster and second stage of the rocket separated, as SpaceX's webcast showed the two components making an arc away from each other in the sky.
This launch was special in a few different ways.
SpaceX's 50th Falcon rocket launch kicks off station resupply mission
The forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of good weather for today's planned attempt of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch to the International Space Station. After the launch, the Falcon 9 was successfully landed, ready to be used again.
This is the first time that SpaceX has used both a first-stage launcher and a Dragon capsule that have already been stolen and recycled, the company said. SpaceX's $50 million refurbishments of the damaged site will enable the company led by Musk to additional ramp up its launch cadence in 2018. At this rate, they'll never need to make a rocket again.
SpaceX has made major strides in its rocket reusability program this year, re-flying four recovered Falcon 9 first stages. Now, NASA has signaled that it's willing to fly on SpaceX's used vehicles, too - a big endorsement for the company's reusable rocket technology. The Dragon will remain attached to the ISS for a month before it returns to Earth. Included on board is a sensor created to monitor how much space debris is surrounding the station, as well as another sensor that's supposed to measure how much sunlight reaches the Earth. But that's a surprise for the crew.
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Having waited for hours to get the tickets, the fans erupted after they were told all tickets were sold out. The police have asked OCA to arrange adequate water jars and disposable glasses at all the stands.