CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 18 (UPI) — SpaceX launched its latest payload to the International Space Station early Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The first-stage Falcon 9 had a flawless liftoff and returned to the launch pad about eight minutes later. The second-stage Dragon carried a 5,000-pound payload of various experiments and cargo.
The key piece of equipment is a $26 million docking ring that will used for future Boeing and SpaceX crews when they dock at the station.
“We’re looking forward to this mission,” said Joel Montalbano, deputy ISS program manager for utilization. “It’s bringing critical supplies, critical hardware.”
A SpaceX rocket carrying an identical adapter was lost last year when it came apart seconds after liftoff and fell into the Atlantic Ocean. The Dragon is expected to reach the ISS early Wednesday and be captured by the station’s 58-foot robotic arm.