New video shows SpaceX's historic rocket launch and landing

Running two days late because of stormy weather, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket shot away from the Kennedy Space Center Saturday, boosting a previously flown Dragon cargo ship into orbit for its second fight - a first for the California rocket builder - to deliver supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

The Dragon capsule sitting atop the rocket was loaded with 2.7 metric tons of supplies, NASA said. If all goes well, it will arrive at the space station on Monday. The Saturday launch saw SpaceX tasked with delivering cargo and supplies to the International Space Station, but this time around it was with the refurbished capsule that had been used back in September 2014. Since then, the company has announced its next flight, the launch of BulgariaSat 1, will also utilize a previously flown rocket.

The company has already landed Falcon 9 first stages on 11 separate occasions - including Saturday, when the booster came back to Earth for a pinpoint touchdown at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The International Space Station crew members will use the station's 57.7-foot (17.6-meter) robotic arm to reach out and capture the Dragon spacecraft and attach it to the station. "We want to take our time and review all of those certification results", Shireman said, adding there was no timetable for making a decision about using flight-proven Falcon 9 first stages.

"It's completely packed. It's full of disposal as well as a few other experiments", Ven Feng, manager of the NASA ISS transportation integration office, said at the post-launch press conference June 3.

The first-stage booster is the most expensive piece of the rocket, according to Musk, accounting for up to 60% of the rocket's $62 million sticker price.

The spectacular evening launch and landing are yet further evidence that SpaceX is attempting to make good on its promise of ushering in a new era of space exploration, one focused on lowering the cost of spaceflight through reusability. When the Falcon 9 completes its landing, people begin cheering.

The plan is to launch the booster again, instead of junking it in the ocean as many other rocket makers do.

Though no new humans were riding aboard the Dragon capsule, several mice traveled to the space station.

The Dragon is now joining a special club of spacecraft that have been to orbit multiple times.

The next SpaceX launch with a used rocket will be a June 15 mission for BulgariaSat.

The refurbished Dragon cargo capsule soared into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 pm (2107 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Koenigsmann said it's "a pretty big deal". This is the company's 11th mission under a NASA contract.

  • Carolyn Briggs