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SpaceX Launch Success, Lands Booster On Drone Ship

Falcon 9 first stage lands on a drone ship out at sea. Photo: SpaceX
Falcon 9 first stage lands on a drone ship out at sea. Photo: SpaceX

After a successful launch from Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea.

Recovering the booster is a part of SpaceX's plan to reuse the first stage and lower the cost of launches.

The Falcon 9 Friday sent a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.

On board, nearly 7,000 pounds of supplies, including science experiments for the orbiting outpost. One experiment is from a 17-year-old student looking at human genes in space.

Also on board, ‘BEAM’, an expandable habitat from Bigelow Aerospace. NASA plans to test the inflatable living space on the International Space Station with the hopes of using it for long-term missions like ones to Mars.

It’s SpaceX’s first launch to the International Space Station since June of last year.  That’s when a rocket carrying supplies to the station exploded about two minutes after lift-off.

The Dragon capsule arrives at the International Space Station on Sunday.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."