SpaceX delivery delayed few days; 1st reused rocket for NASA

Audrey Hill
December 14, 2017

The launch is planned for 11:23 a.m. By signing off on the mission with a used rocket, the space agency validates "flight-proven" Falcon 9s as safe enough for government work. The Dragon capsule made a space station shipment in 2015.

CAPE CANAVERAL | SpaceX has delayed its latest grocery run for the International Space Station for at least a day. This mission will mark the first launch at the pad since it was heavily damaged in a 2016 Falcon 9 explosion.

This launch-when it eventually takes place-will be the 13th commercial ISS resupply mission from SpaceX. The Dragon spacecraft will deliver almost 4,800 lbs.

SpaceX has postponed the launch of its next cargo delivery mission for NASA by 24 hours to allow time for additional system checks; the company announced late Monday.

A catastrophic rocket explosion at pad 40 on September 1, 2016, left the launch complex unusable, and it took SpaceX more than a year to clean up, fix and upgrade the facility.

The trio will dock to the space station two days after launch on December 19, replacing a three-man crew preparing to return to Earth this week.

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The Falcon 9 launcher awaiting liftoff from pad 40 will be powered by a reused first stage booster, on the first flight in which NASA has agreed to put its cargo on a recycled commercial rocket.

The launch will be the 15th flight of a Dragon capsule, 14th mission to the ISS and the 13th with actual cargo.

Blue Origin seems poised to launch a new version of its New Shepard suborbital rocket in the company's first launch since October of past year. With LC-40 now repaired, the company is moving its Falcon 9 launches back there, while Pad 39A is refitted for the upcoming Falcon Heavy launch, sometime in early 2018. The company along with Orbital ATK took over resupply missions to the ISS for NASA after the end of the space shuttle program.

"There is the possibility that residents of Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties may hear one or more sonic booms during the landing attempt", SpaceX said in a statement.

"We'll be anxious, but I wouldn't say a higher level of anxiety for this reflown booster than for a new booster", he said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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