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SpaceX has launched a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which would have been big news a few years ago.

It was the first time SpaceX launched both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before.

The mission, which was delayed from its original target date of December 12 after the SpaceX team chose to take more time to verify proper operation of its second stage full system, took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at SpaceX's newly refurbished SLC-40 in Florida at 10:36 AM EST.

This will be the first launch in more than a year from this Florida pad, the scene of a rocket explosion in 2016.

SpaceX racked up another first, launching a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on a grocery run for NASA.

The California-based SpaceX company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk aims to lower the cost of spaceflight by reusing costly rocket components. Then, while a Dragon spacecraft carries more than two tons of research and supplies to the orbiting lab, the booster will attempt to return to land at Cape Canaveral for future re-flight.

The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off with a just-in-time-for-Christmas delivery for the International Space Station, taking flight again after a six-month turnaround.

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For space nerds, there's nothing better than a rocket landing.

On Tuesday the aerospace manufacturer said it was "targeting" Wednesday December 13 for the mission dubbed CRS-13, but the date was later postponed.

The almost 4,800 pounds of cargo, including science experiments, like barley for future space beer and supplies the astronauts on the station need, will launch in a SpaceX Dragon capsule on a proven Falcon 9 rocket.

While the booster recycling is new for NASA, SpaceX has already used a refurbished Dragon capsule on a mission to the ISS.

"I can not confirm or deny the presence of Christmas presents on-board Dragon", said Kirk Shireman, NASA's space station program manager.

"That marks the second successful visit to and from space for this particular booster", said a SpaceX commentator on the webcast.

Interestingly, SpaceX hasn't repainted or resurfaced the first stage, meaning that the soot resulting from its previously launch was still visible on its external surface prior to launch.


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