SpaceX's recycled rocket and spaceship deliver cargo to ISS

SpaceX Satellite Orbiting Earth
SpaceX to launch cargo from Space Coast
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04 April, 2018

A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft April 2 carrying more than two and a half tons of cargo for the International Space Station. SpaceX has launched 14 cargo missions to the station and partner Orbital ATK has launched seven.

"Every mission is looked at on a case-by-case basis", said Jessica Jensen, director of Dragon mission management for SpaceX, during a pre-launch conference at Kennedy Space Center.

Lifted by the company's Falcon 9 rocket, the unmanned Dragon spacecraft blasted off on schedule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch a Dragon capsule packed with research, crew supplies and hardware from Cape Canaveral.

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"What's really neat about this is this is becoming the norm, and we like that".

While the Elon Musk-led company is committed to a strategy of returning its boosters to Earth in an attempt to reduce the costs of spaceflight, SpaceX did not recover the Falcon 9 rocket technology used in Monday's launch.

Aside from the inherent benefits of gathering critical data ahead of the April 24 debut of Falcon 9 Block 5, a rapid reuse version of the booster that SpaceX is not likely to be keen on expending, exploring the limits of Falcon 9's ability to reenter Earth's atmosphere could enable a greater proportion of missions to be recoverable in the future.

The cargo included materials that ISS astronauts would use to conduct experiments on how human beings and plants behave in space, the agency said. The degree of this impact, and bone marrow's capacity to recoup when back on Earth, is important to space scientists and medicinal services suppliers alike. It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, with about 3,900 lbs. A variant of the Dragon spacecraft, called Crew Dragon, is being developed for US - based crew transport to and from the space station. The Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) arriving on Dragon uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility now aboard the space station to cultivate leafy greens.


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