SpaceX launched a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket Friday, deploying a Dragon spacecraft on the CRS-13 resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch was conducted at the returning Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, lifting off at 10:36 Eastern time (15:36 UTC).
SpaceX CRS-13 Launch:
The launch was the first for SpaceX since their successful deployment of Koreasat-5A on 30 October. Northrup Grumman’s Zuma mission, which had been scheduled for launch in November, has been delayed until early January (NET – No Earlier Than – January 4) following concerns over the rocket’s payload fairing.
At nearly 46 days, the gap between the Koreasat launch and this latest mission was the longest time between two SpaceX launches this year. It was the seventeenth Falcon launch of 2017, with one further mission planned later this month for Iridium, at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft does not require a payload fairing, although SpaceX officials noted the fairing issue has now been cleared.
CRS-13 is Dragon’s fifteenth flight overall and its fourteenth mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. For this launch, both the Dragon spacecraft and the first stage of the Falcon ...