After several delays, it’s probably about time that NASA/SpaceX get a move-on and show us that incredible reused rocket launch. You can watch it below, starting at 2AM AEDT today.
As we’ve written, this launch is a big freaking deal, the first time NASA has used a previously-flown rocket to do an ISS resupply. Both the rocket, a Falcon 9, and the spacecraft, a Dragon, have seen spaceflight before. It’s also the first time the company has used its refurbished Cape Canaveral launch pad since last year’s Falcon 9 explosion, reports Wired.
The launch was delayed from December 5 to this past Tuesday, then again to Wednesday, and again to today. If they delayed again, “the next launch opportunity would be no earlier than late December,” according to a NASA blog post. Liftoff for today was slated for 2:36AM AEDT.
The Falcon 9 rocket's first-stage engines have finished their burn and separated from the vehicle. As the second stage continues the flight, the first stage will aim for a landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
— NASA Kennedy / KSC (@NASAKennedy) December 15, 2017
Fortunately the launch went ahead this time. Falcon 9’s stage one stuck the landing back down at Cape Canaveral, and Dragon has successfully separated from Falcon 9’s second stage. The Dragon spacecraft is now on its way to the ISS. The two will meet up on December 17, which you can watch back on NASA TV or here.