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SpaceX breaks 4 records with Falcon 9 launch from California

08 December 2018

The Space Coast launch Wednesday will be SpaceX's 16th under the company's commercial resupply contract for NASA.

As USA Today notes, the rocket's booster was the first Falcon 9 to launch three missions, an important part of the company's plan to reduce costs by reusing rockets.

SpaceX в третий раз запустила ракету Falcon 9

Most recently, a Falcon 9 that launched from California included a booster with two previous launches under its belt.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage may have been off target on its Cape Canaveral landing on December 5, but two days earlier, a reusable first stage stuck its third landing in six months. The food bars were replaced and the payload is ready to travel to the space station. After the lift-off, everything went as per the plan including the crucial part where it effectively propelled the cargo-laden Dragon capsule towards the worldwide space station. The Dragon capsule, which previously traveled to the Space Station in February 2017, will be loaded with almost three tons of equipment, food, spare parts and scientific experiments.

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"They're a great model for using to study human changes, even though they're just a 1-mm-long worm", said Timothy Etheridge, the principal investigator of the mission.

And the Dragon brings a special treat for one class of spacecraft: It's carrying a satellite deployment system called SlingShot that can fit inside the Cygnus spacecraft's berth to deploy up to 18 cubesats.

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Astronauts who are lucky enough to score a gig aboard the International Space Station make a lot of sacrifices in the name of science. SpaceX was getting ready to tow it back to land at the time of the press conference.

See that small space station? SpaceX is expected to conduct an uncrewed test launch of its passenger craft in 2019 and then conduct its first crewed test later in the year.

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The International Space Station now has six crewmembers; three arrived Monday (Dec. 3), and three have been there since June. Kononenko arrived at the station Monday along with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and NASA astronaut Anne McClain. The new crew members will assist in the docking of the Dragon cargo ship.

SpaceX breaks 4 records with Falcon 9 launch from California