SpaceX makes history with successful launch of used Dragon spacecraft

By : |June 5, 2017 0

In a historic first, a used spacecraft was successfully launched to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX’s CRS-11 launch on Saturday was a milestone for the commercial space industry as it launched a Dragon spacecraft that was previously used in a September 2014 mission on another mission to resupply the International Space Station.

The aim for Elon Musk’s SpaceX is to reuse various parts of its launch and spacecraft equipment to help lower the cost of getting stuff into space. This is key to its aim of making launching a lucrative and profitable business, and also to it achieving its goal of flying missions, including crewed operations, to Mars.

CIOL SpaceX makes history with successful launch of used Dragon spacecraft

The Falcon 9 rocket, topped with SpaceX’s first refurbished Dragon cargo craft, took to the skies at 5:07 pm EDT (2107 GMT). It decoupled from the craft 10 minutes after the original liftoff and then deployed its solar wings to harvest energy for the rest of its trip to the ISS.

The launch was originally supposed to occur on Thursday, but those plans were aborted due to a lightning storm. The Dragon will attempt to dock with the ISS around 36 hours from launch when space station crew will attempt to capture the craft using the facility’s 57.7-foot Canadian-made robotic arm. If this Dragon completes the rest of its mission as planned, it’ll be recovered, refurbished and hopefully reused in a future mission

SpaceX is also working on Dragon 2, a capsule designed to bring the crew to and from the ISS, and hopes to run test flights with astronauts on board beginning next year.

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