SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Lifts Off From Historic NASA Pad, First Stage Landing Done
After the explosion of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in September last year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base launch pad in Florida, Elon Musk's commercial space flight company is now using the historical NASA launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. A Falcon 9 was successfully launched from the said historic base to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
The SpaceX reusable rocket was launched from the Launch Complex 39A located at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The pad was known for launching some of NASA's most historic projects such as the moon mission. The Falcon 9 rocket was launched last Feb. 19 at exactly 9:39 am.
"Liftoff of the Falcon 9 to the space station on the first commercial launch from Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39a!" NASA commentator George Diller said in a statement.
Although a success, the launch was originally scheduled on Feb. 18. However, the attempt was canceled 13 seconds before the original lift-off launch due to a minor technical problem involving the reading from the rocket's second stage.
The second attempt, a day later, was a success. The SpaceX Falcon 9 was not only successfully launched into space but the rocket also landed a few miles from the launch pad according to plan.
As usual, the Internet-savvy SpaceX and Tesla CEO used social media to demonstrate the success of the Falcon 9 launch. "Baby came back," Space CEO Elon Musk said in a post on the photo-sharing app, Instagram.
The Falcon 9 first and second stage separated 2.5 minutes into the launch. Dragon will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) on Feb. 21. The spacecraft will journey for two days in space in order to reach its destination.
ESA astronaut and the youngest crew onboard will receive the Dragon capsule using the Canadarm2 robotic arm. ISS commander Shane Kimbrough will assist Pesquet during the procedure.