Enlarge / The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, is seen shortly after being raised vertical at Launch Complex 39A. (credit: NASA)
Weather conditions are not great at Kennedy Space Center—with clouds and scattered thunderstorms—but SpaceX is going to try to launch a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on Thursday evening from Florida.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 5:55pm ET (10:55pm BST).

The launch is significant because it marks SpaceX’s first attempt to re-fly a Dragon spacecraft.

This particular Dragon first flew to the International Space Station in September 2014, when it delivered nearly 2.5 tons of cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

That was SpaceX’s fourth supply mission to the station.

Thursday’s is the company’s 11th. The spacecraft has undergone significant refurbishment, and has a new heat shield.
Nevertheless, flying the vehicle again would represent a significant milestone for SpaceX.
In six decades of spaceflight only the five space shuttles, two X-37B space planes, and a single Soviet VA spacecraft have made two or more orbital flights. No private company has ever achieved this feat.

The webcast below should begin about 20 minutes before the launch window opens.

The company will attempt to return its first stage booster to a land-based site on the coast about nine minutes after the launch.
Read on Ars Technica

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