SpaceX launches rocket from NASA’s historic moon pad

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 launch from NASA's historic moon pad. SpaceX halted the countdown with just 13 seconds remaining. The problem with the second-stage thrust control actually cropped up several minutes earlier. With just a single second to get the Falcon rocket airborne, flight controllers could not resolve the issue in time. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (AP) — NASA’s historic moonshot pad is back in business.

A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. It was visible for just seconds before ducking into clouds on its way to the International Space Station, with a load of supplies.

Astronauts flew to the moon from this very spot 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 special treat, SpaceX landed the booster rocket back at Cape Canaveral following liftoff, for only the third time. Cheers erupted inside SpaceX Mission Control. A minute or two later, the SpaceX Dragon supply ship successfully reached orbit, generating more applause.

 

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