The incredible moment Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket lands back at Cape Kennedy
Feb 21 2017
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket completed yet another attractive touch down on Sunday after taking off on its first-ever commercial launch from historic Apollo-era Launch Pad 39A at the NASAKennedy Space Center in Florida.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which hired SpaceX to fly cargo to the station after the shuttle program ended, will closely monitor Sunday's launch to learn more about SpaceX's operations before it clears the company to fly NASA astronauts on SpaceX rockets.
The rocket, taking off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was to carry a Dragon cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
For SpaceX, perhaps the biggest achievement was the successful return of its Falcon 9 rocket that made a soft landing on the NASA pad nine minutes after the initial launch.
SpaceX aborted the February 18 attempt due to a thrust control issue on the second stage.
The SpaceXFalcon 9 launch vehicle is 210 feet long carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft.
Unlike the 95 previous rockets that launched from 39A, SpaceX's booster flew itself back to Earth, touching down nine minutes after launch at a landing pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The company also has a long queue of customers all waiting for a ride to orbit - including America's civil space agency (Nasa), the USA military and multiple outfits in the commercial sector.
The launchpad is iconic because it was once used for NASA space shuttles that landed astronauts on the moon.
The company has clarified that its engineers are working on the issue and the launch should not be delayed by more than 24 hours.
Blue Origin has since started work at another launch pad, located just south of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and is building a rocket manufacturing plant at KSC's industrial park. SpaceX is a company started by billionaire Elon Musk with the goal of expanding private space exploration. Dragon is packed with 5,489 pounds of supplies and equipment for the ISS crew.
No, no one is going to look for aliens or find other inhabitable planets, but anytime a rocket launches from anywhere is a spectacle worth documenting.
Undeterred by malfunctions, SpaceXsuccessfully launched the Falcon rocket on Sunday morning. The US space agency previous year added a third company, privately-owned Sierra Nevada Corp, for making cargo runs to the station beginning in 2019.
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