Two months ago, a SpaceX rocket flew into space with a NASA satellite. Now, it has launched to the International Space Station, carrying fresh station supplies for the crew.
The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Florida) at 5:42 AM ET, and it also was streamed on YouTube, describing the event as being an “instantaneous launch” of the “fifteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission,” performed by SpaceX.
This makes the fastest reflight of a SpaceX booster. The same first-stage booster is the one that launched the Tess satellite in April.
All the supplies are packed into a Dragon capsule which was first used in 2016. This capsule is filled with 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of cargo. It carries a robot with artificial intelligence – the first one to reach space, called “Crew Interactive Mobile Companion” – or CIMON, which will cooperate with the crew. The capsule also contains mousetronauts (genetically identical mice) and a treat for the six astronauts living on the International Space Station: super-caffeinated coffee.
The supplies are bound to reach the station on Monday.
The Falcon 9 Launch – 29 June
As planned, and with no delays, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off this morning from Florida, placing the Dragon capsule into a good orbit.
The booster, according to SpaceX, has performed its last flight and it will not be recovered. It will probably reach the bottom of the ocean. SpaceX plans to create a new model of the booster. As for the second stage of the rocket, SpaceX has a different plan. They have made it orbit the Earth for four times to test the ability of its engine after a long period of dormancy in space.
SpaceX’s Jessica Jensen, the executive in charge of the Dragon capsule, explained that reusability allowed the company to increase the number of launches and decrease the time between them:
“Our teams have gotten extremely efficient at the refurbishment process.”
In July, the company plans to take two satellites into space in just two days.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.