The SpaceX CRS-12 lifted off successfully from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on Monday, on its way to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
Scheduling conflicts and the time sensitive cargo meant that SpaceX’s 12th commercial resupply mission was limited to a single attempt. Despite early concerns that weather might hinder the mission, the payload, propelled by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, met its designated launch window.
Once separated from the Falcon 9, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully deployed its solar array and will wait in orbit until it is in range of capture by the ISS’s robotic arm. The craft is carrying 4,800 pounds of equipment that will be used for research and will splash down in about 30 days off the coast of California with the results of previous experiments conducted on the station.
In addition to the launch, SpaceX successfully landed the 1st stage of its Falcon 9 rocket for reuse. This was the sixth successful ground landing of a first stage booster. SpaceX believes that reusable craft components is one of the keys to commercializing and reducing the cost of space missions. You can watch the live-streamed video of the CRS-12 launch and landing by visiting the Naples Herald’s Facebook page.
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