SpaceX launches a rocket from NASA's historic moonshot pad

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) (AP)ong> - NASA's historic moonshot pad is back in business.

A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. It's carrying a load of supplies for the International Space Station.

WATCH: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Kennedy Space Center

Astronauts flew to the moon from the very spot nearly a half-century ago. The pad was last used for NASA's final shuttle mission nearly six years ago.

 

 

It marks SpaceX's first launch from Florida since a rocket explosion last summer.

As an extra special treat, SpaceX landed its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral eight minutes after liftoff, a feat accomplished only twice before. Most of SpaceX's eight successful booster landings — rocket recycling at its finest — have used ocean platforms. As they did during the shuttle era, sonic booms heralded Sunday's return.

SpaceX employees at company flight headquarters in Southern California cheered as the 15-story booster landed upright at its designated parking spot at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk celebrated the successful touchdown via Twitter.

"Baby came back," he tweeted.

The celebratory roar grew when the Dragon cargo ship successfully reached orbit a couple minutes later. It will reach the space station Wednesday, delivering 5,500 pounds of food, clothes and experiments.

SpaceX is leasing the pad from NASA for 20 years. The company hopes to launch U.S. astronauts from there next year.

A launch attempt on Saturday was scuttled.

 

 

 

Baby came back

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

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