The company is making history again- for the first time, SpaceX reuses one of its Dragon cargo capsules.
This evening, SpaceX is launching another one of its Falcon 9 rockets. It is the 100th launch from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida and the spacecraft is sending cargo and supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.
However, this will be the first time that SpaceX will send a once-used cargo spacecraft. The Dragon cargo capsule launching tonight was first used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station in 2014. The Dragon stayed about a month at the station then landed with the help of parachutes in the Pacific Ocean. Afterward, it was inspected and refurbished by Space X. A few components have been swapped out, mostly those that came in contact with sea water when the spacecraft splashed down into the ocean. Moreover, a new heat shield was added.
The Dragon will be loaded with nearly 6,000 pounds of supplies for astronauts, as well as a highly-valued NASA science experiments and research investigations. The spacecraft is designed to someday carry human astronauts to the International Space Station.
Tonight’s launch is slated for 5:55 p.m, with an instantaneous launch window, so the Falcon 9 rocket either has to launch right on schedule or move to another date. SpaceX has a backup launch attempt set for Saturday at 5:07 p.m. According to a U.S. Air Force report, there is a 70 percent chance of favorable weather for the launch tonight.
According to Orlando Sentinel.