SpaceX has completed its 50th rocket landing on its mission to send an unmanned Dragon spacecraft for NASA. The spacecraft contains fresh supplies intended for the International Space Station.
The first stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket was previously used during the Dragon cargo mission in December 2019. Barely audible above the more than 1 million pounds of thrust generated by the rocket’s engines, car alarms at the press site were triggered as the rocket roared to launch from Pad 40th at Cape Canaveral Air force Station. An interesting part of the launch and one of SpaceX’s unique abilities was the reusable flight systems, which brought back the rocket at SpaceX’s Landing Zone facility 1 at Cape Canaveral. As part of the process, the booster’s engines about 8 minutes after liftoff. Dubbed as CRS-20, this mission is the final flight under SpaceX’s first commercial resupply services contract with NASA.
Dragon 2 capsule will soon replace Dragon 1, beginning in October of this year. While the older version was capable of flying only three times, the newer version would be flying five times. Other upgrades include the ability to dock to the orbital outpost. Crew Dragon is the new crew-carrying capsule built by SpaceX. The company’s multibillion-dollar contract with NASA is to fly astronauts to and from the ISS.