SpaceX made history today executing the first commercial spacecraft launch from the historic Launch Complex 39A that sent men to the moon and was last used for the Space Shuttle about six years ago. The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying the Dragon spacecraft loaded with supplies for the International Space Station.
Watch: The SpaceX Falcon 9 takeoff from Launch Complex 39A
“Liftoff of the Falcon 9 to the space station on the first commercial launch from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39a!” said NASA commentator George Diller.
Today’s launch had action in the downward direction as well: The Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth successfully, landing a few miles from the Florida launch site about 8 minutes after liftoff as planned. It was SpaceX’s first daytime landing at the site, called Landing Zone 1, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
“Baby came back,” Space CEO Elon Musk wrote on Instagram after the successful landing. – Space.com
The launch was originally scheduled for Saturday but was delayed due to a second-stage steering issue. This is the second SpaceX launch of 2017 and the second since one of their Falcon 9 rockets blew up during a pre-launch test back in September.
Launch Complex 39A was the launch site of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission that first landed men on the moon in 1969.
Featured image of SpaceX launch at NASA Launch Complex 39A by SpaceX