SpaceX goes for its 17th launch of 2017 ars_ab.settitle(1233089)

19 December, 2017, 11:43 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at the SLC-40 launch pad prior to the accident    
   Image SpaceX

In pic: This photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft launches from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on December 15, 2017. The company has one more launch slated for the year on December 22.

Space travel is known to be prohibitively expensive, yet SpaceX's recent accomplishments, and anticipated trajectory are on track to combat the two largest restrictions behind orbital launches: price, and cadence.

This was the company's 17th launch of the year, the highest number of launches annually in SpaceX's history. NASA signaled that in the future it woul be willing to use SpaceX's reused rockets on a case-by-case basis.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage descends back to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will also carry return cargo from the space station.

The gleaming white Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket soared into the blue sky over Florida at 10:36 am (1536 GMT). When not filming, or reporting on rocket launches from inside NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Thaddeus can be found mountaineering, practicing photography, and helping communicate science by creating documentary short videos. Then the company delayed until Friday because it had detected "particles" in the fuel system of the rocket's second stage. Meanwhile, SpaceX has just a couple more flights to round out the year, including today's cargo resupply flight.

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The Dragon capsule was flown to the ISS in 2015.

SpaceX successfully completed its 13th cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) this afternoon. Both experiment packages will be mounted outside the station with the robot arm.

The unmanned spaceship is packed with 4,800 pounds (2,200 kilograms) of food, supplies and experiments - including one to study thyroid cancer and another to grow barley in space.

And the astronauts can expect a few treats, and perhaps some holiday gifts. Now, NASA has signaled that it's willing to fly on SpaceX's used vehicles, too - a big endorsement for the company's reusable rocket technology.

The commercial cargo craft is scheduled to depart the station in mid-January and splash down in the Pacific Ocean with research specimens for analysis by scientists around the world.



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