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SpaceX launches station supplies, nails 50th rocket landing

SpaceX launches station supplies, nails 50th rocket landing

SpaceX successfully launched another load of station supplies for NASA late Friday night and nailed its fiftieth rocket landing.

The Falcon rocket blasted off with 1,950 kilogrammes of equipment and experiments for the International Space Station. Just minutes later, the spent first-stage booster made a dramatic midnight landing back at Cape Canaveral, its return accompanied by sonic booms.

“And the Falcon has landed for the 50th time in SpaceX history,” SpaceX engineer Jessica Anderson announced amid cheers at Mission Control. "What an amazing live view all the way to touchdown."

The Dragon capsule, meanwhile, hurtled toward a Monday rendezvous with the space station.

It's the twentieth station delivery for SpaceX, which has launched nearly 45,360 kilogrammes of goods to the orbiting outpost and returned nearly that much back to Earth since it began shipments in 2012. Northrop Grumman is NASA's other commercial shipper.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said it was the windiest conditions ever 40 km/h to 48 km/h for a booster landing at Cape Canaveral, but he wanted to push the envelope. The landing was the fiftieth successful touchdown of a SpaceX booster following liftoff, either on land or at sea.

"Envelope expanded," Musk tweeted following touchdown.

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