SpaceX Sends Docking Ring To Space Station

Recovered first stages of three SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are shown during a photo opportunity in the SpaceX hangar at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral

Following recent reports concerning SpaceX second attempt to launch docking rings to the International Space Station, which is regarded as a crucial step in enabling U.S. commercial space taxis to ferry astronauts to the orbiting lab, NASA said on Sunday.

its official this morning that SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket laden with supplies for the International Space Station early today.

Just a few minutes after Monday’s liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the rocket’s main section separated, turned around and softly landed upright on the ground a few kilometers from the launch site.

Among its cargo, the rocket is carrying one of two docking rings to the International Space Station, a crucial step in enabling U.S. commercial space taxis to ferry astronauts to the orbiting lab.

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After the metal docking ring attaches to a berthing port on the station, it will serve as a parking space for commercial spaceships under development by SpaceX and Boeing. The manned craft are scheduled to begin test flights next year.

Last year, a SpaceX rocket carrying one of these rings broke apart shortly after liftoff.

SpaceX has pulled off vertical landings of leftover boosters four times since December. The company hopes to launch its first recycled rocket later this year.

 

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