SpaceX Successfully Launches Reusable Rocket Toward International Space Station

Today’s launch is SpaceX’s third of 12 resupply missions through their $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

1. SpaceX successfully launched the Dragon cargo ship at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday.

AP / John Raoux

2. The unmanned rocket is carrying thousands of pounds of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and is scheduled to reach the space station on Wednesday, April 23.

The rocket is even carrying ice cream, tucked away in the freezer, for the three astronauts currently on board the ISS.

3. The Dragon will spend nearly three weeks connected to the ISS before separating and returning back to Earth with nearly 3,500 pounds of science equipment and supplies.


4. Today’s launch was the third of 12 resupply missions that SpaceX, a private company owned by Elon Musk, plans to complete through their $1.6 billion contract with NASA.




5. The launch was also the first attempt to use a reusable rocket, which, if successful, could completely change the economics of space exploration.

6. SpaceX’s next supply run is scheduled for January 2015.

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Austin Hunt is a curation editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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