SpaceX’s latest rocket launch and landing was a success.
The Elon Musk-led space technology company launched its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of SpaceX’s contract to send supplies to the International Space Station.
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Nearly 10 minutes after the launch at 12:31 PM, the rocket separated from the Dragon cargo capsule, and returned to a landing pad near Cape Canaveral.
The Dragon capsule is expected to eventually reach the International Space Station, which will use a giant robotic arm to latch onto the capsule and bring the cargo onboard.
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There’s roughly 6,400 pounds of cargo inside Dragon capsule, including equipment and supplies that will help researchers perform “experiments seeking a better understanding of Parkinson’s disease and the origin of cosmic rays,” NASA said.
The cargo capsule also contained a Hewlett Packard Enterprise hpe supercomputer intended to help researchers understand how supercomputers function in space over extended periods.
The latest rocket launch is SpaceX’s twelfth cargo resupply mission for the International Space Station. NASA said it expects the Dragon capsule to leave the space station in mid-September, when it will return to Earth with 3,300 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.
SpaceX typically tries to recover its launched rockets in the hope that it can reuse them for other space missions and thereby reduce their cost. So far, the company has landed six rockets from on landing pads at Cape Canaveral, and another eight Falcon rockets after landings on barges in the sea, USA Today notes.
In March, SpaceX relaunched one of its previously used rockets for the first time, and then landed the rocket for a possible third space mission.