The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, launches from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Saturday, June 3, 2017. Dragon is carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station in support of the Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars. This will be the 100th launch, and sixth SpaceX launch, from this pad. Previous launches include 11 Apollo flights, the launch of the unmanned Skylab in 1973, 82 shuttle flights and five SpaceX launches. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls/(NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls/(NASA/Bill Ingalls)

SpaceX launches 1st recycled supply ship to International Space Station

SpaceX successfully launched its first recycled supply ship on Saturday afternoon, bound for the International Space Station.

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The historic launch marked the 100th from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaceX’s Falcon rocket lifted off from the launch complex at 5:07 p.m. It was topped with the Dragon capsule, which was loaded with nearly 6,000 pounds of scientific research and station supplies. It will rendezvous Monday with the ISS, according to NASA.

It is the second time the Dragon has been sent to NASA’s orbiting outpost. The Associated Press reported that the capsule was sent in 2014 to supply the ISS. It was refurbished afterward for an unprecedented second trip.

“SpaceX hopes to slash launch costs by reusing its rockets and capsules,” according to the AP. “For now, savings are minimal because of all the inspections and tests performed on the already flown parts.”

Dragon will stay connected to the ISS until early July to allow astronauts time to unpack the spacecraft and refill it with completed experiments and hardware no longer necessary onboard, according to NASA.

The Falcon was first expected to liftoff Thursday, but the date was pushed back due to severe weather.

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