SpaceX is scheduled to deliver a 4,800-pound package of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station with a reused Falcon 9 rocket and a refurbished Dragon spacecraft.
The ISS already received a delivery from SpaceX before, but this event is significant because it's the first time the aerospace manufacturer is going to carry out the task only with reused components.
'Flight-Proven' Falcon 9, Dragon Capsule To Deliver
Originally, the California-based company was going to launch the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft at 11:46 a.m. ET or 8:46 a.m. PT on Dec. 12, Tuesday, from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Now it's aiming for a Dec. 13 launch instead to take extra measures to increase the chances of a successful launch.
Now targeting Dec. 13 for launch of CRS-13 from SLC-40 to allow for additional time for pre-launch ground systems checks.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 12, 2017
On the return of the booster and cargo, they're planned to land somewhere in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
The Falcon 9 rocket (pictured above) in question first went into space to deliver a cargo to the ISS in June (CRS-11 mission), while the Dragon capsule made its first trip to the space station in April 2015 (CRS-6 mission).
Making things more interesting is that the launch pad will also be reused. Back in September 2016, SpaceX attempted to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40, but it was met with a disaster when the booster exploded and destroyed its payload the Amos-6 satellite. Not only that, but the Florida launch site was also severely damaged by the incident. Now the pad has been repaired and improved to handle rocket launches more frequently.
Rocket and spacecraft for CRS-13 are flight-proven. Falcon 9’s first stage previously launched SpaceX’s eleventh resupply mission for @NASA, and Dragon flew to the @Space_Station in support of our sixth cargo resupply mission. pic.twitter.com/RY4F2TrWO2 — SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 6, 2017
How To Watch SpaceX's 17th Delivery Mission
"This mission marks the first time SpaceX is flying both a flight-proven Falcon 9 and a flight-proven Dragon spacecraft. Falcon 9's first stage previously supported the CRS-11 mission in June 2017 and the Dragon spacecraft previously supported the CRS-6 mission in April 2015," SpaceX said.
The livestream will also be available below: