SpaceX blasts off cargo using recycled spaceship

June 3, 2017
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, is seen at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 3, 2017

SpaceX on Saturday blasted off a shipment of food and supplies for the astronauts living at the International Space Station using for the first time a vessel that had flown before.

The refurbished Dragon cargo capsule soared into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 pm (2107 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"Three, two, one, and liftoff," said NASA spokesman Mike Curie as the rocket blazed a steady upward path into the clouds.

The last time this particular spaceship flew to space was in 2014.

The Dragon is packed with almost 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of science research, crew supplies and hardware and should arrive at the ISS Monday.

The supplies for special experiments include live mice to study the effects of osteoporosis and fruit flies for research on microgravity's impact on the heart.

The spacecraft is also loaded with solar panels and equipment to study neutron stars.

About 10 minutes after launch, SpaceX successfully returned the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back to a controlled landing at Cape Canaveral.

The rocket powered its engines and guided itself down to Landing Zone One, not far from the .

"The first stage is back," Curie said on NASA live webcast, as video images showed the tall, narrow portion of the rocket touch down steadily in a cloud of smoke.

SpaceX said it marked the company's fifth successful landing on solid ground. Several of its Falcon 9 rockets have returned upright to platforms floating in the ocean.

The effort is part of SpaceX's push to make spaceflight cheaper by re-using costly and spaceship components after each launch, rather than ditching them in the ocean.

The launch was the 100th from NASA's historic launch pad 39A, the starting point for the Apollo missions to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a total of 82 shuttle flights.

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18 comments

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EmceeSquared
3.9 / 5 (14) Jun 03, 2017
Elon Musk is sustainable by design. Donald Trump is self destructive by design.
rrrander
1 / 5 (7) Jun 04, 2017
Musk should be sent on a one way trip to planet Ego.
Steelwolf
5 / 5 (4) Jun 04, 2017
I must say that I am being semi-impressed with the recycling of capsule, that is something that should have been done long ago instead of One and Done as NASA has done for decades.

Re-landing a rocket booster was a major coup: the fine control needed for that has to be an automated system that is only possible with today's ubiquitous computing and communications abilities. There is no way they could have done the same with the Saturn V's, however, since the mid 90s they started to have this capacity and I am glad that it has been finally taken advantage of.

Next they will need to figure some way to salvage the second stage units but, this should not be impossible, just going to require a bit of work is all.
Dingbone
Jun 04, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2017
Good, they stuck the landing again. Eventually they'll lose one; but the longer it is, the better. Or, more to the point, the cheaper.
ShotmanMaslo
4.9 / 5 (7) Jun 04, 2017
NASA recycled its ships for long time - but decreased reliability of this solution has lead into disasters, which seriously damaged the cosmic research of USA. Musk's solutions aren't more reliable than those of NASA, he is just willing more risk with it.


Quite the contrary, recycled ships ought to be a lot more reliable than expendable ships because they are flight proven multiple times. Space Shuttle was a dangerous design period, because of heat shield prone to damage by falling debris and no way to abort launch at any time. None of this applies to Dragon capsule.

We will never become a real spacefaring civilization if we only use each rocket and ship one time.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (4) Jun 04, 2017
Good, they stuck the landing again. Eventually they'll lose one; but the longer it is, the better. Or, more to the point, the cheaper.


I would even say that they expect and aim to lose more than one. The surest way to improve reliability is to fly a ship/rocket until it fails, fix the cause, then repeat the process. Just make sure that the most used up rockets dont fly critical, manned missions..
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2017
I would even say that they expect and aim to lose more than one. The surest way to improve reliability is to fly a ship/rocket until it fails, fix the cause, then repeat the process. Just make sure that the most used up rockets dont fly critical, manned missions..
Our minds went the same place by different routes. I was thinking that I hope they have it instrumented well enough to figure out how it fails when it does, and that they have a safe place to ditch it.

New computational and materials techniques are making this possible.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2017
Space Shuttle was a dangerous design period, because of heat shield prone to damage
-And one wonders if the Challenger wasn't flown outside it's design parameters the morning it blew up to demonstrate it's vulnerability.

The shuttle was a military vehicle, meant to fly specific military missions into orbit, not science teachers. Carter decided to make it the sole launch platform thereby critically limiting the military's options. As a result new and more reliable launch platforms were developed.

This is not unlike how the navy put all it's obsolete battleships into a harbor in the middle of the Pacific in order to demonstrate in the only way possible why the US needed to begin building carriers.

Or why the Hindenburg was torched and the Titanic scuttled. Transatlantic airplane tech was critical to the future, as we can only now appreciate from today's perspective.

And it required the economies of scale that only commercial use could provide.
thisisminesothere
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 04, 2017
Space Shuttle was a dangerous design period, because of heat shield prone to damage
-And one wonders if the Challenger wasn't flown outside it's design parameters the morning it blew up to demonstrate it's vulnerability.


Are you claiming all of the things you just listed were done on purpose? That each of those are conspiracy theories just waiting to be exposed?
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2017
Are you claiming all of the things you just listed were done on purpose? That each of those are conspiracy theories just waiting to be exposed?
Are you naive enough to think that whole armies can be expended on the battlefield to achieve victory but that civilians are somehow off limits even though the stakes can be just as high?

You might even be willing to accept that other countries have been willing to do this, but that's just because they were our enemies and so they were evil, right?

Or maybe it's just because they lost.

'All of War is deception.' - Sun Tsu
'Peace is only the preparation for war.' - some roman flavian
'Ergo all of peace is deception.' - otto

Let me reiterate; the shuttle was a military system fielded by a military agency. A civilian turned it into a political toy.

The military was not going to stand for this.

And I suppose you think that the arms shipment in the belly of the lucitania was just there by chance?
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2017
Or that the initial bombing of london by the luftwaffe was an unforeseen accident?

Think a little bit.

There is only one 'conspiracy theory' and that is that, because of their tendency to overpopulate and to blame whoever is in power for their resulting misery, the people are the traditional enemies of leaders everywhere.

It's obvious that Leaders have known about this for a very long time.

And the only reason that we have any sort of planet worth living on today, is because Leaders took it upon themselves to save IT from the people living upon it.

"For god so loved the WORLD..."
FineStructureConstant
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2017
@ghost
And the only reason that we have any sort of planet worth living on today, is because Leaders took it upon themselves to save IT from the people living upon it. ... "For god so loved the WORLD..."
Rubbish - those "Leaders" are either trying to line their own pockets, and let the world go screw itself in the process, or are trying valiantly to swim against the shit-storm tsunami of greed and mendacity displayed by global capitalism and the military-industrial complex.

The little guys like you and me, and the others here, are just flotsam and jetsam in the worldwide storm. And your pathetic "god" doesn't exist...
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2017
Line their pockets with what? Paper? Shiny metal and trinkets and baubles? Are those things good to eat?

What happens to their money and their families and their pockets if the civilization that protects them and gives their money value and provides them food, collapses around them?

Are rich people going to plant gardens on penthouse roofs? Are their children going to go to prep schools in deserts and war zones? Will rich people have their own bread lines?

Forgive them if they want to preserve the future for their families.

Overpopulating almost destroyed this world. If you look at a map you will see a large swath of land from the sahel to the Gobi stripped, desertified, ruined.

If you Google pics of northern Iraq you will see landscapes without a tree or a bush. The entire world could have looked like that.

Overpopulation will seek out and destroy stability and progress wherever it tries to hide. Overpopulation will extinct even rich people.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2017
Overpopulation is the flood you're so concerned about. It is BTW the source of the biblical metaphor.

"Scholiast on Homer, Iliad, i.5.
"There was a time when the countless tribes of men, though wide-dispersed, oppressed the surface of the deep-bosomed earth, and Zeus saw it and had pity and in his wise heart resolved to relieve the all-nurturing earth of men by causing the great struggle of the Ilian war [Trojan War], that the load of death might empty the world. And so the heroes were slain in Troy, and the Plan of Zeus came to pass."

Leaders created gods to do their dirty work for them.
FineStructureConstant
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2017
My friend, sadly you appear to have lost all contact with reality. My advice: go sit down, take a little pink pill, and watch some TV in the TV room they have there for you and your fellow patients...

Oh, and SpaceX are doing pretty well with this new launch - looking forward now to the first launch of the Falcon Heavy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2017
My friend, sadly you appear to have lost all contact with reality. My advice: go sit down, take a little pink pill, and watch some TV in the TV room they have there for you and your fellow patients...
Sounds to me like you already took yours. Makes it easier to believe what your tv tells you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2017
"World's top problem is overpopulation, not climate
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
"Earth's real problem, too many babies ... but we can't admit the truth
What's wrong? Everybody on Earth is in denial about our biggest problem ... population growth. Too many new babies, a net of 75 million a year. And we're all closet deniers — leaders, investors, billionaires, the 99%, everybody. Yes, even Bill McKibben's 350.org global team. The U.N.'s 2,000 scientists know overpopulation is Earth's only real problem."

-see if you can find what channel its on. Or maybe you prefer spongebob?

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