A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Monday, July 20, 2020. The rocket is carrying ANASIS-II, a national security satellite for South Korea. The first stage of this Falcon 9 rocket was previously used to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (Craig Bailey/Florida Today via AP)
SpaceX on Monday reused the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that propelled NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space.
More on that historic launch: NASA, SpaceX pull off first astronaut liftoff from U.S. soil since 2011
The company's rockets have two stages. The first stage has nine Merlin engines that propel the rocket upward for roughly 2 1/2 minutes. As the first stage separates, returning for a vertical landing, the second stage has one Merlin Vacuum Engine that takes over to position the payload in orbit.
Monday's mission launched a South Korean communications satellite, ANASIS-II. The first stage returned to Earth and landed vertically on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, marking the 57th time SpaceX has successfully landed a first stage.
Behnken and Hurley have been on the International Space Station since the Falcon 9 rocket launched their Crew Dragon spacecraft May 30 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They are scheduled to return Aug. 2.
Quelle: Houston Chronicle