SpaceX 1st: Recycled rocket soars with recycled capsule

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SpaceX is now in the business of recycling and reusing rockets.

A used cargo spacecraft from private US company SpaceX returned to the International Space Station on Sunday, more than two years after its first visit to the orbiting laboratory.

The recycled rocket doesn't add any extra risk, according to NASA's International Space Station manager, Kirk Shireman.

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SpaceX has worked to rebuild and upgrade the launchpad throughout 2017, and during a call with reporters earlier this week, John Muratore, SpaceX's SLC-40 director, said the refurbished pad now has a much longer operational lifetime of at least 10 to 20 years.

But the launch was "still a unsafe business", he said, and although the Falcon 9 has been extensively inspected by NASA's experts, there is never "zero risk" when it comes to rocket launches.

Pad 39A will serve as the launch site for the first launch of the company's huge new Falcon Heavy rocket, which is expected to perform its first test flight in January 2018.

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Late Tuesday, SpaceX pushed back the launch for the second day in a row, saying it needs to rid the second-stage fuel system of unwanted particles. The webcast below should begin about 15 minutes before the launch window opens. About eight minutes after launch, the Falcon 9's first stage will attempt to land at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1.

The Dragon will then return to Earth after about a one-month stay with about 3,600 pounds of cargo.

The Dragon spacecraft, which was previously used in a similar cargo resupply mission in April 2015, was captured by USA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba at 5:57 a.m. EST (1057 GMT) using the station's robotic arm.

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