SpaceX Sends Cargo Toward Space Station in Year’s 12th Launch

(Bloomberg) -- Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its Dragon spacecraft with supplies destined for the International Space Station for longtime customer NASA early Friday, marking the company’s 12th launch of the year.

The closely held company controlled by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket and payload from Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida about 5:44 a.m. local time.
The Dragon spacecraft is packed with more than 5,900 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, according to NASA. It’s slated to reach the station on Monday, July 2.

The mission, known as CRS-15, is using both a “flight proven” rocket booster and spacecraft, the company said in a tweet.

“Dragon confirmed in good orbit,” SpaceX tweeted about eight minutes after the launch, following completion of the second-stage engine burn. It said in a press statement that it wouldn’t attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage.

SpaceX is targeting roughly 30 missions this year, up from a record 18 in 2017. The Hawthorne, California-based company’s valuation climbed to about $25 billion with a recent funding round, making it the third-most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S. after Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc.

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