SpaceX launches used supply ship on used rocket for NASA

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It may feel unintuitive (perhaps even sad) seeing SpaceX expend booster after recoverable booster, but the company is nearly certainly making a pragmatic decision to use the final flight-proven Block 3 and Block 4 first stages to flesh out the full range of their capabilities and explore the edge of the envelope ahead of the next generation.

The Dragon supply ship mounted on top of the Falcon 9 rocket carried 5,836 pounds (2,647 kilograms) of food, supplies and experiments to the space station and its six-person crew. In January 2016, NASA announced that SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft were selected to resupply the space station through 2024 as part of a second Commercial Resupply Services contract award.

"What's really great about it is that it's becoming the norm", Jessica Jensen said.

Three days ago, in an effort to cover the Earth in powerful broadband internet, SpaceX blasted off 10 internet-providing satellites on a Falcon 9, a rocket created to transport cargo.

Monday's launch was SpaceX's 14th space station resupply mission. "That way, our engineers can collect additional data not only during reentry but for the landing that will be useful for the future".

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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency space traveler Norishige Kanai and NASA space explorer Scott Tingle will utilize the space station's mechanical arm to catch Dragon when it lands at the station Wednesday, April 4.

And as for the Dragon? The first stage safely separated and fell back to the Earth. It will bring back almost 4,000 lbs of cargo, according to SpaceX. The experiment, called the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (Veggie PONDS), will test a machine that gives nutrients to lettuce and mizuna greens for harvest and consumption in orbit.

Additionally, the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) experiment will study severe thunderstorms in Earth's atmosphere as well as upper-atmospheric lightning. For more information about the various projects supported from this payload, read the full descriptions in a statement from NASA here.

For over 17 years, people have lived and worked consistently on board the International Space Station, progressing logical information and showing new advancements, making research achievements unrealistic on Earth that will empower long-span human and mechanical investigation into profound space. Prior to that, a Falcon 9 is scheduled to send NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite into orbit on April 16.