SpaceX Looks to Make Spaceflight History With Reused Dragon Capsule

NASA SpaceX Dragon spacecraft commercial resupply mission Dragon capsule International Space Station

NASA SpaceX Dragon spacecraft commercial resupply mission Dragon capsule International Space Station

SpaceX has successfully recovered Falcon 9 first stages from six missions at sea using the company's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships. The milestone comes just two months after the launch of its first reused rocket booster for a satellite. The return of a triple-launch date, while essentially a coincidence, is a sign that after several years of growing pains, commercial rocket companies are starting to hit the tempos that have promised to boost access to space while reducing the cost.

The historic Launch Complex 39A, from which Apollo missions to the moon left Kennedy Space Center almost 50 years ago, is set for its 100th launch late Thursday afternoon with the planned liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"This whole notion of reuse is something that's very, very important to the entire space industry", NASA's space station program manager, Kirk Shireman, said at a news conference Wednesday. The most famous of these, of course, were the large and versatile space shuttle orbiters Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour, each of which flew dozens of missions.

SpaceX signed a 20-year deal for use of the launch pad in 2014. However, he noted that savings, if any, were minimal due to the number of X-rays and inspections it went through.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule will carry cargo weighing 6,000 pounds and will also include mice and flies for medical research. The company is planning to land its Falcon 9 booster back on Earth at Cape Canaveral about 10 minutes after its initial launch.

Arsenal signs Kolasinac from Schalke
The news comes days after manager Arsene Wenger committed his future to the club by signing a new two year deal. Anyone who once left his heart in the [club] will be a part of it and never forget this second home.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule are ready and waiting to launch.

Launch is scheduled for 5:55:51 ET from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center. The team will try again at 5:07 p.m. EDT (21:07 GMT) Saturday, June 3, 2017.

Inside the craft will be tons of supplies and research materials for the five astronauts on the International Space Station. More than 2,000 kilograms of that is scientific hardware, including experiments to be conducted inside the station as well as astrophysics, earth science and space technology experiments to be mounted on the station's exterior.

"It's a great example of the partnership we have with NASA", he said of that effort to win approval for the reuse of Dragon spacecraft.

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