Credit: Kevin Quick Es'hail-2
SpaceX has successful launched its 19th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station this afternoon. The Falcon 9 lifted off at 12:51 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Atop the Falcon 9 booster was a Dragon cargo capsule with some 5,700 lbs of crew supplies and research.
The uncrewed Dragon Capsule is making its third visit to the ISS. The first stage booster, B1059.1, is brand new. After launch, the rocket and cargo pitched down range and preformed nominally for the full flight duration with successful main engine cut off, second stage deployment and booster landing on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.
It is common for the first stage boosters to return back to the landing pads at the cape during cargo resupply missions, however SpaceX used the opportunity to test out a long duration second stage burn causing it to use more fuel and necessitate landing down range.
This launch was 12th SpaceX launch of the year and marks 9 years of SpaceX's Commercial Resupply Missions to the International Space Station
38 scientific experiments rode on the uncrewed Dragon this afternoon. One such experiment is an extremely small Mexican CubeSat that is only 4 inches by 4 inches. This microscopic satellite is one of the countries first satellites and will measure small satellites abilities to communicate with others in orbit. Also onboard was Japan's Hyperspectral Imaging camera, which will spend 3 years on station collecting valuable data.