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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX-3 Countdown

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SpaceX-3 Countdown Underway

At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands ready to boost a Dragon spacecraft with supplies for the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASAKennedy - YouTube Channel

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SpaceX Dragon Heads to Space; Station Astronauts Prep for Wednesday Spacewalk

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon spacecraft loaded with nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station’s Expedition 39 crew, lifted off at 3:25 p.m. EDT Friday from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

› SpaceX launch web coverage

Friday’s launch of the third SpaceX commercial resupply services mission sent the Dragon space freighter on a course to rendezvous with the station Sunday morning. Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio will capture Dragon using the Canadarm2 robotic arm at 7:14 a.m. to set it up for its berthing to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Live NASA Television coverage of Sunday’s Dragon activities begins at 5:45 a.m. and returns at 9:30 a.m. for coverage of the berthing of Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node.

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Falcon 9 Ready for Launch

In the Launch Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA and contractor managers and engineers monitor progress in the countdown to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch vehicle will boost a Dragon capsule on a third commercial resupply mission delivering cargo to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASAKennedy - YouTube Channel

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Liftoff of SpaceX-3

The SpaceX-3 Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff was at 3:25 p.m. EDT.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Dragon Spacecraft Separation

The SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft separated from the Falcon rocket as it continues on to the International Space Staton. Liftoff took place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 at 3:25 p.m. EDT.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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New NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station Aboard SpaceX-3 Mission

Approximately 2.4 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo were launched to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. The launch aboard the company's Falcon 9 rocket took place from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday, April 18 at 3:25 p.m. EDT. Dragon's cargo will support more than 150 experiments that will be conducted during space station Expeditions 39 and 40. The spacecraft will be grappled at 7:11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16 by Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station May 18 for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California, bringing with it about 3,500 pounds of science and research, hardware, crew supplies and spacewalk tools from the space station.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Whee!

And on this mission not only did they successfully get the Dragon spacecraft into orbit but the first stage made a successful re-entry and vertical touchdown into the sea - a preliminary to powered touchdowns on land for reuse.

I remain impressed by what SpaceX is achieving. Only a few years ago it took them four attempts to get their comparatively tiddly Falcon 1 into orbit. Now they're almost routinely launching the Falcon 9 to deliver payloads to the International Space Station. I await the Falcon 9 Heavy with excitement.

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