[Via Satellite 01-12-2015] A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 4:47 a.m. EST headed to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the launcher’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The launch, delayed from 2014, carried more than two tons of supplies and experiments to the ISS as well as two satellites for Planet Labs.
Following the launch, SpaceX attempted to return the first stage to an autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket reached the ship, but landed too hard and was not recovered. SpaceX plans to use telemetry data to inform future attempts.
Dragon is currently docked with the ISS, where it will remain for the next four weeks. The mission delivered the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) for NASA, which will be attached to the outside of the station’s Japanese Experiment Module. The instrument will measure location, composition and distribution of pollution, dust, smoke, aerosols and other particulates in the atmosphere.
Planet Labs built its two satellites, known as Flock 1d Prime, in nine days in order to manifest them aboard the SpaceX mission. The company’s last 26 satellites were destroyed in the October 2014 Antares rocket failure. NanoRacks is slated to deploy the satellites in a few weeks.
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