SpaceX has sent another resupply capsule into space to reach the International Space Station early Monday morning following a resupply mission that blasted off from Kazakhstan just over the weekend.
Image Credit: NASA
The Kazakhstan resupply mission will provide the International Space Station with food and other necessary supplies for living, while the SpaceX mission appears to be mostly all about giving the astronauts more work to do with additional experiments and new equipment to make future space missions possible.
NASA cites the new resupply mission as having carried 5,000 pounds of supplies.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at about 12:45 A.M. EDT on Monday, and it appeared to be a successful launch; no errors led to any explosions or anything catastrophic like they’ve gone in the past.
The rocket put the Dragon capsule into space successfully, and then the rocket came back to land. This time, rather than landing on a drone ship at sea, SpaceX had the rocket land successfully back at the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida.
The landing was successful. And now the rocket may be cleared for re-use. Central Florida residents may have heard what sounded like a sonic boom as the rocket re-entered the atmosphere.
Aboard the Dragon capsule was a new docking adapter that will permit more US-based launches so NASA doesn’t have to rely so heavily on launches from Kazakhstan.
The adapter will permit capsules from both Boeing and SpaceX to dock with the International Space Station, which will give the United States more freedom to send items, and even astronauts, to the station. Such equipment should be ready for use within just a couple of years.
NASA attempted to send this adapter one year ago, although an unfortunate malfunction in the rocket caused it to explode in the sky only moments after liftoff, and it was lost.
In addition, up to 250 experiments are on board the capsule that International Space Station astronauts will perform to better understand space physics and to learn more about the health effects of deep space missions on humans, which are expected to be carried out in the next few decades.
The video below shows the Falcon 9 rocket lifting off: