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Monday 22 May 2017

SpaceX launches rocket from Nasa's historic moon pad

Space shuttle Atlantis is mounted on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral in 2011
Space shuttle Atlantis is mounted on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral in 2011

Space exploration company SpaceX has successfully launched a rocket from Nasa's historic moon pad.

The Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Centre's Launch Complex 39A carrying supplies for the International Space Station.

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

This is SpaceX's first launch from Florida since a rocket explosion last summer.

As an extra treat for spectators, SpaceX aims to land the booster rocket back at Cape Canaveral following lift off. That recycling feat has been accomplished only twice before.

SpaceX is leasing the pad from Nasa for 20 years. The company hopes to launch US astronauts from there next year.

A launch attempt on Saturday was scuttled after a problem with the second-stage thrust control.

AP

Press Association

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