Jul 3, 2017
fly a falcon, land a dragon
SpaceX is having one hugely eventful day.
Over the course of just 12 hours, the company plans to safely guide a Dragon spaceship home from the International Space Station, then launch a communications satellite on one of its Falcon 9 rockets.
Half the job is already done. In the early hours of Monday morning, SpaceX's Dragon undocked from the space station. Over the course of about six hours, the craft fired up its engines so the Dragon could safely de-orbit and cut back through the earth's atmosphere. It then deployed parachutes and landed in the ocean just after 8 a.m. ET.
That completed SpaceX's 11th unmanned resupply mission to the space station -- and the company's very first with a used Dragon spacecraft.
Yep, the Dragon capsule that landed in the ocean Monday morning had done it all once before.
It was first flown to the space station in September 2014 mission before SpaceX brought it home, refurbished it, and sent it off to the space station again on June 3. It stayed for a month, while the crew conducted some experiments that Dragon brought along, and it was loaded with lab results and other items before it was sent home Monday.