Storms at Florida's Kennedy Space Center halted the countdown Thursday.
Atop the unmanned Falcon rocket is a Dragon capsule that flew to the space station almost three years ago. NASA says that while Dragon is approaching, the unmanned Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship will depart the station and head into an orbit that will cause it to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere over the South Pacific. Soon afterward, the refurbished Dragon was safe in orbit.
It was a fairly routine launch, despite a two-day weather delay, but also another step in a significant shift toward privatizing space exploration. The Falcon 9 first stage, meanwhile, would attempt to land at SpaceX's landing zone at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Shortly before liftoff, a SpaceX vice president, Hans Koenigsmann, called the Dragon reflight "a pretty big deal".
This is the first time the Elon Musk-founded private spaceflight company has reused the cargo spacecraft en route to the ISS.
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SpaceX continues to get more use out of its individual rockets and spacecraft than just about any other organization in history. The Dragon is tasked with delivering critical cargo to aid in science and research aboard the International Space Station.
Mongolia is all set to send its first ever satellite to space on June 4 and it has been named after the country's endangered gobi bear Mazaalai.
In preparation for the flight, the Hawthorne, Calif., space company in Southern California replaced some parts on the Dragon, such as the heat shield.
For this launch, it was filled with nearly 6,000 pounds of crew supplies, hardware and science research, including equipment to study neutron stars. He said the entire industry is interested in "this whole notion of reuse", first realized with the space shuttles. Then, a giant robotic arm attached to the space station will swing out to capture the Dragon.
The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. This is the company's 11th mission under a NASA contract.