SpaceX tries again to launch 1st recycled supply ship

Sunday, 04 Jun, 2017

The launch was first attempted on Thursday, June 1, but aborted due to the weather.

SpaceX tweeted Saturday that the weather looked "60% favorable" for liftoff.

The Dragon capsule launched today for the CRS-11 mission previously flew on the CRS-4 space station resupply mission in 2014. Reuse of the Dragon, along with reuse of its Falcon 9 rockets, is key to SpaceX's long-term profitability.

Though no new humans were riding aboard the Dragon capsule, several mice traveled to the space station.

The NELL-1 study will analyze whether a newly discovered protein therapy can rebuild bone, which is significant because astronauts suffer extreme bone loss in microgravity. NASA hopes to grow bone in space to better combat the devastating effects of osteoporosis. SpaceX now leases the pad from NASA; the company's first launch from there was in February.

Along with food, water, clothing and other gear for the astronauts at the space station, the Dragon will deliver plenty of science experiments.

The mission, dubbed CRS-11, will carry almost 6,000 pounds of supplies and payloads, according to SpaceX.

Did Venus Williams just reveal the gender of Serena Williams' baby?
First on court on a bright and breezy Wednesday was No10 seed, Venus Williams, who will turn 37 in a fortnight's time. The Williams sisters sure know how to make announcements about major life events in the most nonchalant way.

The space station now has three astronauts on board: two from the United States, and one from Russian Federation. On Friday, a Russian and Frenchman returned from the space station in their Soyuz capsule, leaving two Americans and a Russian behind. They spent 194 days on board.

Dragon will return to Earth after an approximately one month stay at the orbiting laboratory.

SpaceX's mantra is reusability and that's why each of these landings are important.

Reusing a spacecraft will mark another huge step forward in SpaceX's efforts to bring down the cost of spaceflight. A moment later, the first stage flipped around and began a "boostback burn" to put it on a trajectory for Landing Zone 1 (formerly Launch Complex 13) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Musk also said the company recovered at least a portion of the rocket's fairing - a rocket add-on that can house satellites - after that launch.

And the Dragon cargo vehicles aren't the only hardware that SpaceX is going to start reusing more often. Soon afterward, the refurbished Dragon was safe in orbit.

SpaceX said it marked the company's fifth successful landing on solid ground. "For [SpaceX], it's the seventh launch this year, and you can tell that we picked up the rate significantly", Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reusability at SpaceX, said in a prelaunch briefing on Wednesday (May 31). This will be the 12th Dragon visit overall and the 11th under NASA contract.

Nine minutes, 20 seconds into the mission, the second stage achieved orbit and shut its engine down.