A break in thunderstorms streaming throughout Central Florida allowed a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule to blast off Thursday from Cape Canaveral in pursuit of the International Space Station with a brand new docking mechanism, a spacesuit and 40 mice acting as excessive-flying analysis specimens.
Flying off Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad with 1.7 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon 9 rocket turned to the northeast and soared into space over the Atlantic Ocean.
Liftoff occurred at 6:01:56 p.m. EDT (2201:56 GMT) Thursday on the 73rd flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since SpaceX’s workhorse launcher debuted in June 2010.
SpaceX called off a launch attempt on Wednesday as a result of the risk of lightning at Cape Canaveral. The corporate previously ordered a three-day delay from a July 21 target launch date to restore a liquid oxygen leak on the rocket.
Dangerous climate threatened once more in Thursday to stop the Falcon 9 from launching. However, the clouds cleared within the final hour of the countdown.
Nine Merlin 1D engines, chugging kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants, pushed the Falcon 9 rocket into the higher atmosphere in less than two-and-a-half minutes. The first stage booster switched off its engines and separated to start a collection of maneuvers to reverse course and return to landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station a couple of miles south of the launch pad. The booster launched and recovered on Thursday helped carry SpaceX’s most recent Dragon cargo mission aloft in May. NASA and SpaceX might use the identical rocket once more for the next Dragon resupply mission, set for launch in December.