Another 'First' for SpaceX
SpaceX launched its 13th cargo delivery to the International Space Station on Dec. 15, 2017, flying both a reused Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship. [Full Story and Launch Video]
Waiting to Fly
A previously flown SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and Dragon spacecraft stand ready to launch the CRS-13 cargo mission for NASA from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for Dec. 15, 2017.
The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:36 a.m. EST (1536 GMT) on Friday, Dec. 15.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Dec. 15, 2017 to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station. Both the rocket and Dragon have flown in space before.
Return to Cape Canaveral
Flames beneath the rocket booster reflect off the water at Cape Canaveral as the Falcon 9 carries the Dragon cargo spacecraft into space. This was the first launch in more than a year from Pad 40, which was damaged by a Falcon 9 explosion during a routine preflight test on Sept. 1, 2016.
Up, Up and Away!
Seen here on its way to the International Space Station, the Dragon cargo spacecraft will deliver about 4,800 lbs. (2,180 kilograms) of scientific hardware and other supplies to the Expedition 54 crew.
One minute and 18 seconds into the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket reached maximum aerodynamic pressure, or "max-Q."
Headed for Space
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo ship filled with NASA supplies soars into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Dec. 15, 2017 to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station.
The Falcon 9 Flies!
In this view of the Falcon 9 rocket, you can see the structure of its nine-engine booster.
About 2.5 minutes into the mission, the first stage rocket booster separated from the second stage and began its return to Earth.
The Falcon 9 Returns
After stage separation, the firs stage booster began its journey back to Cape Canaveral
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.