Mar 7, 2020

Late-night launch of SpaceX cargo ship marks end of an era

Posted by in category: space travel

Taking aim on the International Space Station, nine kerosene-burning rocket engines powered a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher into a clear sky over Florida’s Space Coast on Friday night to begin the final flight of the first version of the company’s Dragon cargo ship.

Minutes later, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to a site a few miles from its starting point and landed at Cape Canaveral, marking the 50th time SpaceX has recovered a Falcon booster intact since the California rocket maker’s first successful recovery in 2015.

Liftoff of the 213-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 rocket — using a first stage booster that previously launched and landed in December — occurred at 11:50:31 p.m. EST Friday (0450:31 GMT Saturday) from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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