Science

SpaceX debuts recycled rocket, new launch pad

SpaceX debuts recycled rocket, new launch pad”

"Now targeting December 13 for launch of CRS-13 from SLC-40 to allow for additional time for pre-launch ground systems checks", SpaceX representatives wrote in a Twitter update.

Today marks the first time SpaceX will attempt to launch a rocket from Complex 40 after the pad was damaged by a fiery explosion back in September 2016.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will now launch a Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA no earlier than Wednesday (Dec. 13) from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Falcon 9 booster being used today few during a previously ISS resupply mission, CRS-11 earlier this year in June, and the Dragon was flown in 2015 during another commercial resupply effort.

According toSpaceX, the first stage of the rocket will return to Cape Canaveral for refurbishment and use on a future flight.

The 45th Space Wing's weather forecast says the only weather concern for the planned 11:46 a.m. launch is high winds.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. A water system under the flame trench was improved so that SpaceX can test fire engines on the pad for longer periods than it could before, a key to its strategy of re-flying used hardware, and launching frequently. The company has been hard at work to prevent a repeat of the 2016 explosion, spending much of this year rebuilding the launch pad as well as testing its equipment. The company along with Orbital ATK took over resupply missions to the ISS for NASA after the end of the space shuttle program. Prior to getting a deal with the Elon Musk-led company, NASA had to rely on the Russians and their Soyuz spacecraft to resupply and transport people to and from the space station.



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