As the age-old saying goes: Try and try until you succeed. One of the oldest and most cliché quotes is certainly fitting for SpaceX, which have succeeded Sunday on its second launch attempt at NASA's Launch Complex 39A, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Issue With SpaceX Most Recent Launch Mission
The first attempt, which was on Saturday with just 13 seconds before liftoff, was plagued by concerns over an anomaly that was found in the rocket's steering system. The said issue was "99% likely to be fine," Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, tweeted Saturday, "but that 1% chance isn't worth the risk. Better to wait a day."
The Falcon 9 Success
On Sunday, however, the launch went very smoothly. According to NPR, not only did SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lift off without many issues, its first stage has also returned to land right back on a platform on Earth, where shortly afterward, the Dragon spacecraft that it was carrying has successfully detached as planned from the rocket.
The Historic Launch Pad
While there's nothing uncommon about the 5,500 pounds of cargo strapped into that spacecraft, which is set for the International Space Station, the pad that it took off from has quite the backstory: Launch Complex 39A was also the site that sent the first humans to the moon way back in the 1969 infamous Apollo 11 mission. It was the pad for a number of very important NASA's missions: from its early days sending people to space, towards the three decades of the well-known space shuttle program.
A New Era For the Iconic Launch Pad
Now, the pad, which hadn't been used ever since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, is getting dusted off for another new era as a spaceport that is open for use by public and commercial missions to space, according to a report coming from CBS News.