SpaceX launches Christmas presents, supplies to station

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SpaceX launches Christmas presents, supplies to station


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SpaceX on Tuesday launched Christmas gifts, sweets and supplies at the International Space Station and received a gift in return: the company’s 100th successful rocket landing. The pre-dawn takeoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was barely visible in the fog and clouds, as the Falcon rocket lifted a Dragon capsule loaded with more than 6,500 pounds (2,950 kilograms) of equipment for the seven astronauts at the station. Minutes later, the first stage propeller landed vertically on an ocean floor, six years after the day Elon Musk’s company made its first reinforcing landing in 2015. This particular propeller was making the his first flight. A few days ago, a SpaceX propeller made its 11th flight.

“It’s crucial to reduce the cost of spaceflight to keep reusing these boosters more and more. One hundred is a big milestone, so we’re excited about that,” said Sarah Walker of SpaceX, mission manager. “We’re also excited to see how few new drivers we have to produce as the years go by.” Among the items that are due to arrive at the space station on Wednesday: Christmas gifts from the astronauts’ families, as well as smoked fish and turkey, green beans and fruit cake for the holiday season. NASA space station program director Joel Montalbano would not disclose anything else. “I will not stand in front of Santa Claus and tell you what will be sent,” he told reporters on the eve of the launch.

The delivery also includes an experiment with laundry detergent. Currently, the station’s astronauts are in charge of the dirty clothes; Procter & Gamble Co. is developing a fully degradable detergent for eventual use at the station, the moon and beyond. SpaceX closes the year with 31 launches, the largest in the company.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated channel.)

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