SpaceX launches supplies to the International Space Station and lands rocket booster

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is expected to dock at the International Space Station Wednesday morning, a few days after the company’s second successful landing on land of a first-stage rocket booster.

The Hawthorne company launched its Falcon 9 rocket laden with supplies for the space station late Sunday night from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

About eight minutes after liftoff, the first-stage rocket booster returned to Earth at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral.

That marked SpaceX’s second rocket booster landing on land since December. SpaceX also has had three successful landings on a floating drone ship at sea.


The rocket was carrying almost 5,000 pounds of cargo, including a docking adapter -- a large metallic ring that will enable commercial crew spacecraft under development by Boeing Co. and SpaceX to dock at the space station.

The adapter will be one of two eventually on the space station. A second one is being assembled at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and will be launched on a future SpaceX mission, NASA said.

Last year, a SpaceX rocket carrying one of these adapters broke apart shortly after liftoff. The docking adapter had cost $32.4 million to develop, according to a recent report by NASA’s office of inspector general.


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10:10 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.

10 p.m.: This article was updated with details from the successful landing.


This article was originally published at 6 a.m.