SpaceX has successfully launched its first mission with both a re-used Falcon 9 rocket and a re-used Dragon spacecraft, which will be delivering cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
The first stage booster of the Falcon 9 landed back at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at SpaceX’s landing zone shortly after.
Re-usability is a major hurdle for SpaceX, as well as space exploration in general, as it will greatly reduce the cost.
The Dragon spacecraft is due to dock at the ISS tomorrow, where it will stay for about a month, bringing with it over two tonnes of supplies and crucial materials for science and research being done on the station.
After that, it will return with about 1.6 tonnes of cargo, including results from completed experiments.
Shortly before the Dragon arrives the ISS will receive three new crew members, bring it back up to full capacity at six people on board, including three Americans, two Russians and a Japanese person.
When the Dragon returns to Earth it is expected to take about 30 minutes to re-enter the atmosphere and land in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Baja California.