SpaceX taking recycling all way to orbit for NASA

This photo made available by SpaceX on Thursday, March 30, 2017 shows the company's Falcon 9 rocket on Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Its launch, scheduled for Thursday will be the first time SpaceX launches one of its reused boosters. (SpaceX via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – SpaceX is taking recycling to a whole new realm – all the way to orbit.

On this week’s supply run to the International Space Station, SpaceX will launch a Dragon capsule that’s already traveled there. The milestone comes just two months after the launch of its first reused rocket booster.

This particular Dragon flew to the station in 2014. SpaceX refurbished it for Thursday’s launch. The company says it’s always reused Dragon parts, but never to this extent. Most of this Dragon has already been to space, including the welded frame. It will carry 6,000 pounds of cargo, including mice and flies for medical research.

While the Falcon booster is new, SpaceX will attempt to land it at Cape Canaveral, Florida, following liftoff so it, too, can be reused.

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