SpaceX launches two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying Dragon spacecraft, bound for ISS

March 11, 2013 – 08:53 am

(CNN) — SpaceX on Tuesday launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed cargo spacecraft called Dragon on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station.

SpaceX was unable to guide the bottom stage of the Falcon rocket upright onto a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, though. On Twitter, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said: “Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.”

Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

What about the rest of the rocket and the Dragon? The smaller, top part of the rocket will carry the Dragon into orbit and then break away from the cargo ship and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Dragon will dock with the space station a couple of days after launch to deliver more than 4, 300 pounds (1, 950 kilograms) of supplies, including research equipment and ISSpresso, an espresso maker that astronauts can use to make coffee and tea.

SpaceX tried to land a Falcon 9 on the drone ship in January, but the rocket hit at an angle and exploded.

The company has previously said the odds of a successful landing are about 50%. If you want to see how it goes, it will post photos online throughout the mission and will put video on YouTube.


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