Space

Gotcha: SpaceX's re-used Dragon capsule snaffled by ISS

Gotcha: SpaceX's re-used Drago...
SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
View 14 Images
A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
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A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
The re-used Dragon took off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket booster
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The re-used Dragon took off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket booster
SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
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SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
A Falcon 9 rocket comes down to land at Cape Canaveral
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A Falcon 9 rocket comes down to land at Cape Canaveral
Long-exposure of Falcon 9 rocket landing
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Long-exposure of Falcon 9 rocket landing
Rocket landings are becoming rather routine for SpaceX
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Rocket landings are becoming rather routine for SpaceX
Rocket landings are becoming rather routine for SpaceX
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Rocket landings are becoming rather routine for SpaceX
SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
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SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
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SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012
Re-using its rockets is one part of SpaceX's plan to reduce the cost of space exploration
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Re-using its rockets is one part of SpaceX's plan to reduce the cost of space exploration
A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
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A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
A Falcon 9 rocket ready for lift-off
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A Falcon 9 rocket ready for lift-off
A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
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A re-used Dragon capsule lifts off from Cape Canaveral
Elon Musk shares his thoughts on rocket landings
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Elon Musk shares his thoughts on rocket landings
View gallery - 14 images

SpaceX has been using its Dragon capsule to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012, but the eleventh such mission that launched on Saturday marked yet another milestone for the company. It was the first time a Dragon had been re-flown, and NASA has this morning confirmed that the recycled spacecraft arrived safely at its destination.

Dragon took off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket booster, carrying 6,000 lb (2,721 kg) of supplies. As has become pretty much standard for SpaceX, the Falcon 9 rocket then came down to land on SpaceX's Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral. CEO Elon Musk had this to say on the matter yesterday.

Elon Musk shares his thoughts on rocket landings
Elon Musk shares his thoughts on rocket landings

Re-using rockets is one part of the company's plan to reduce the cost of space exploration, and re-using spacecraft is another. The Dragon capsule in question first visited the ISS on a supply mission in September 2014, and it marked its return today when it was captured by the station's 57.7-foot (17.6m) robotic arm at around 9:50 am EDT.

The Dragon will be installed on the station's Earth-facing Harmony module, where it will remain for around one month before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX has also released a bunch of glorious photos of the launch and rocket landing, which you can check out in the gallery above.

Source: NASA

View gallery - 14 images
3 comments
jade_goat
Good stuff - well done SpaceX! The reusable approach is definitely the way of the future.
TimLocke
Now find a way to reuse the second stage of the Falcon
VincentBrennan
When the rocket lands it looks just like old SciFi movies. I really thought we would not see real rockets do this after watching intermittent failures over the years (few people seriously tried).
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