By Colin Dwyer
To paraphrase an age-old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, well, dust off the historic launch pad and try another liftoff.
Not as catchy as the original, perhaps, but certainly fitting for SpaceX, which succeeded Sunday on its second launch attempt at NASA’s Launch Complex 39A, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first attempt, scrubbed Saturday with just 13 seconds before liftoff, was foiled by concerns over an anomaly discovered in the rocket’s steering system.
The issue was “99% likely to be fine,” Elon Musk, founder of the private space company, tweeted Saturday, “but that 1% chance isn’t worth rolling the dice. Better to wait a day.”
On Sunday, however, the launch went smoothly. Not only did SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lift off without a hitch, its first stage also returned to land right back on a platform on Earth. Shortly afterward, the Dragon spacecraft it was carrying detached as planned from the rocket.
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