Los Angeles-based SpaceX will try to reach another historical milestone Tuesday when it launches a resupply mission to the International Space Station with a rocket and capsule that have both flown previously.
The CRS-13 mission “will refly both an orbital rocket and spacecraft for the first time,” company founder Elon Musk wrote on his social media accounts in advance of the mission.
The mission is scheduled to launch at 8:46 a.m. California time from Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying 4,800 pounds of crew supplies and research materials. It will be the 13th space-station resupply mission the company has flown under a contract with NASA that calls for SpaceX to make as many as 20 trips to the stellar outpost.
If any problems develop, a backup launch window will open at 8:24 a.m. Wednesday.
The Dragon capsule being used in the mission has already been to the International Space Station once before. The spacecraft was used in a resupply mission flown in April 2015. The Falcon 9 rocket that will boost the spacecraft into orbit was used in a resupply mission in June of this year.
SpaceX has been working to perfect the process of reusing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rockets as a major cost-savings tool. After Tuesday’s scheduled launch, the company plans to again recover the rocket by landing it back at Cape Canaveral for use in future missions.
The company has re-used rockets before, but Tuesday will mark the first time SpaceX has used both a recycled rocket and spacecraft at the same time.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: