SpaceX taking recycling all way to orbit for NASA

In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo made available by NASA, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft approaches the International Space Station. On a June 2017 supply run to the station, SpaceX will use this capsule. The milestone comes just two months after the launch of its first reused rocket booster. (NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX is taking recycling to a whole new realm — all the way to orbit.

On this week’s supply run to the International Space Station, SpaceX will launch a Dragon capsule that’s already traveled there. The milestone comes just two months after the launch of its first reused rocket booster.

This particular Dragon flew to the station in 2014. SpaceX refurbished it for Thursday’s launch. The company says it’s always reused Dragon parts, but never to this extent. Most of this Dragon has already been to space, including the welded frame. It will carry 6,000 pounds of cargo, including mice and flies for medical research.

While the Falcon booster is new, SpaceX will attempt to land it at Cape Canaveral, Florida, following liftoff so it, too, can be reused.

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