On Sunday, SpaceX launched a Dragon capsule for the ISS. This tenth refueling mission was also the first launch since the mythical 39A shooting point from which took off Apollo missions, space shuttles and from where will depart, as of mid-2018, astronauts aboard Crew Dragon. The main floor of the Falcon 9 returned safely to land. Thomas Pesquet is preparing to retrieve the capsule.
Business resumes for SpaceX. More than five months after a Falcon 9 launcher hit the ground and a month after the January 14th flight (and the deployment of the first ten Iridium Next satellites ), SpaceX resumed launches to the Space Station The international community . Originally scheduled for Saturday, the shot had been canceled only 13 seconds before the engines fired . Finally, the launcher took off Sunday at 15:38. The mooring of the Dragon is scheduled Wednesday, February 22. The capsule will be captured by the Canadarm 2 robotic arm , piloted by astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough.
The main stage of the launcher was again recovered. It landed on shore , on Landing Zone 1 , located on the base of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station . This is the seventh time SpaceX manages to perform this maneuver (four times at sea and three times on the ground), which can be described as controlled. The next step is the return to flight of a recovered stage to be held in April with the launch of SES-10.