After 6 Years, NASA's Historic Launchpad Back in Business

SpaceX rocket takes off from 39A pad that launched first man on the moon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2017 9:03 AM CST
A Space X Falcon9 rocket sits on the launch pad, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Last-minute rocket trouble forced SpaceX on Saturday to delay its inaugural...   (Red Huber)
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(Newser) – NASA's historic moonshot pad is back in business, reports the AP, after a SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. It's carrying a load of supplies for the International Space Station. The launchpad is steeped in history, notes Gizmodo, as it launched the first man on the moon nearly a half-century ago. The pad was last used for NASA's final shuttle mission nearly six years ago.

This is SpaceX's first launch from Florida since a rocket explosion last summer. As an extra treat for spectators, SpaceX landed the booster rocket back at Cape Canaveral eight minutes after liftoff, reports Mashable. That recycling feat has been accomplished only twice before. SpaceX is leasing the pad from NASA for 20 years. The company hopes to launch US astronauts from there next year. A launch attempt on Saturday was scuttled at the last minute. (Read more SpaceX stories.)

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