SpaceX Successfully Launches Dragon Capsule to ISS

Elon Musk tries again to land on a drone platform at sea


Following a scrubbed launch due to weather on Monday, SpaceX has sent another resupply mission to the International Space Station Tuesday afternoon, giving it another opportunity to test its reusable rocket platform. Successfully launched from Cape Canaveral at 4:10 PM ET, the Falcon 9 is sending an uncrewed Dragon capsule to orbit (with 4000 pounds of cargo, including an espresso machine). It attempted a vertical landing on the autonomous drone barge on the way down, but Elon Musk confirmed that the landing was "too hard for survival." Landing a reusable rocket on a drone barge is a difficult endeavor, and our William Herkewitz explains why it's so incredibly hard.

READ NEXT: Read our updated post on the Falcon 9 landing for the latest on the drone barge attempt.

Live updates:

Tuesday, 4:58PM ET: You can re-watch the full successful liftoff here:

Miss today's launch? Want to see it again? Watch now. set to arrive at Fri.


Tuesday: 4:29 PM ET: Elon Musk just confirmed that the first stage didn't have a perfect landing:

Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

Tuesday: 4:28PM ET: The Dragon capsule will arrive at the ISS at 7AM ET, Friday morning.

. mission - solar arrays have deployed & is on its way to the !


's solar arrays have deployed, spacecraft now safely on its way to the space station.

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

After rocketing to space, unfurls solar arrays. Arrives Friday ~7am ET.

— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station)

Tuesday: 4:22PM ET: Check out these stunning images of the third stage and fuel tank interior images from the SpaceX live feed:

Now getting the third stage and fuel tank interior images! Awesome video from

— Remco Timmermans (@timmermansr)

LIFTOFF of and on the CRS-6 mission to resupply the space station for .

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

Tuesday: 4:17PM ET: The first stage booster has begun its descent towards the drone barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

So, here's what SpaceX is trying to do right now

— Andrew Moseman (@Agmoseman)

Tuesday: 4:12PM ET: The Falcon 9 has hit supersonic speeds, currently at 1 km/sec.

Tuesday: 4:11PM ET: The Falcon 9 successfully lifts off.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

Tuesday: 4:09PM ET: The Falcon 9 is go for launch. Watch the launch sequence from NASA's Kennedy YouTube account here:

Tuesday: 4:05PM ET: With just five minutes to go, all is still clear for launch:

. is now on internal power. No issues being worked for a 4:10pm ET launch:


Tuesday, 3:57 PM ET: SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch is looking at a 60% "go" for launch. If today's launch is scrubbed, the next possible attempt will be Thursday, April 16th. :

Weather 60% "go" for launch today @ 4:10pm ET. Lightning/clouds still a concern.

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

Watch LIVE:

Monday, 4:33 pm: Anvil clouds led to the aborted launch.

Launch postponed due to lightning from an approaching anvil cloud

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

4:30 pm: Aborted on account of "weather violations." The launch can reportedly be scrubbed to tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. More news to come.

Launch scrubbed today for weather, next opportunity tomorrow 4/14 at 4:10pm EDT.

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

4:25 pm: Some Tweets in anticipation of the launch

The is loaded with more than 4,300 pounds of , including 40 investigations.


& now vertical in advance of today’s CRS-6 launch, targeted for 4:33pm ET.

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

Odds of rocket landing successfully today are still less than 50%. The 80% figure by end of year is only bcs many launches ahead.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

See also: The illustrated guide to SpaceX's reusable rocket launch.

Elon Musk's space company first attempted this ambitious landing in January, when the Falcon 9 made it to the platform but couldn't stick the barge landing, falling over in a fiery explosion instead. In February SpaceX gave it a second try, but scrubbed a barge landing in favor of a soft landing at sea, where it could collect data as the rocket made its descent.

Just Read the Instructions on location & ready for tomorrow’s 1st stage landing attempt.

— SpaceX (@SpaceX)

Landing a tall rocket, tail-side down, on a platform at sea is a devilishly hard thing to do.




But if SpaceX can pull it off, it'll open the door for reusable rockets, something that could drastically reduce the cost of space launches.


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