Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX shipment reaches space station after weekend launch

SpaceX shipment reaches space station after weekend launch

Loaded with about 2,500 kg of research, supplies and hardware for crew members living and working on the orbiting laboratory, the spacecraft launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Saturday launch went smoothly, with the booster streaking to a smooth landing on a recovery ship just offshore.

On Saturday a Falcon rocket raced into the pre-dawn darkness which is also the carrier of the 2,500 kilograms of goods, the Dragon capsule. The others include Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo craft that launched in April from Virginia, two Russian Soyuz capsules and two Russian Progress cargo capsules.

SpaceX's vice president, Hans Koenigsmann said: "Dragon is on the way, the orbiter is great, it's right on the money".

SpaceX has launched a load of supplies to the International Space Station, running at full power following repairs.

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"To all the teams around the world, we welcome to the ISS the Dragon spacecraft", Saint-Jacques replied.

The Dragon is a recycled spacecraft this being its second space trip.

It was SpaceX's 17th delivery to the International Space Station since it started in 2012. Both problems were quickly resolved with equipment replacements: a power-switching unit in orbit and a generator at sea.

Minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed its brand new, first-stage booster on the ocean platform roughly 10 miles off the coast, considerably closer than usual with the sonic booms easily heard at the launch site.

The Crew Dragon capsule that was destroyed is the same capsule that was utilized during the SpaceX's Demo-1, the non-crew test flight in March where it was able to successfully dock with the ISS before making its journey back to Earth without any issue. SpaceX and Boeing Co. have contracts with NASA to ferry American astronauts to the space station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew program. Much of the focus this year is on the first flight with humans on board.

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