The delayed SpaceX launch has finally gone off without a hitch

Posted February 21, 2017

SpaceX's first-ever commercial rocket launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center was picture-perfect, but the landing was arguably even more photogenic - or should we say "dronogenic"?

After separation, the rocket successfully landed at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. According to SpaceX, Dragon will take 5500 pounds of supplies to ISS, including Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument that will ozone in the atmosphere. The pad was last used for NASA's final shuttle mission almost six years ago.

The launch complex was built in the 1960s for the Apollo moon program, then revamped for the space shuttles, which flew from 1981 to 2011.

Sunday's CRS-10 launch attempt.

The International Space Station has six astronauts on board - two from the United States, three from Russian Federation and one from France.

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"Standing down to investigate", Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of Space Exploration Technologies Corp, wrote on Twitter.

Falcon 9 was carrying the Dragon spacecraft, which successfully detached from Falcon 9's second stage. In this case, however, SpaceX managed to return the rocket's first stage boosters to Cape Canaveral, providing some dramatic and breathtaking footage to boot.

Loud cheers could be heard from the SpaceX mission control room as the rocket touched down in one piece.

It was also SpaceX's first launch from Florida since an accident in September caused heavy damage to what had been the company's prime site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, located just south of the NASA spaceport. NASA is also preparing to launch their Saturn V-like Space Launch system rocket and an Orion crew capsule in late 2018.

The launch was first scheduled for 14 February, but was moved to Saturday due to weather concerns. He said he wanted to make sure a slight steering issue with an engine in the rocket's upper stage was not indicative of a more significant upstream problem.