SpaceX launches recycled rocket, supply capsule for NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - JUNE 03:  In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dragon is carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station in support of the Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars. This will be the 100th launch, and sixth SpaceX launch, from this pad. Previous launches include 11 Apollo flights, the launch of the unmanned Skylab in 1973, 82 shuttle flights and five SpaceX launches. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - JUNE 03: In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dragon is carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station in support of the Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars. This will be the 100th launch, and sixth SpaceX launch, from this pad. Previous launches include 11 Apollo flights, the launch of the unmanned Skylab in 1973, 82 shuttle flights and five SpaceX launches. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

SpaceX launched its first recycled rocket for NASA Friday morning from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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The unmanned Falcon 9 -- last used in June -- is delivering a Dragon 6 capsule to the International Space Station. The capsule was also used for a space station shipment in 2015.

The launch was the first in more than a year for the Florida pad, which was the scene of a rocket explosion in 2016. Crews have spent that time repairing the launch site.

"It's history," spectator Mark Tendeck said. "It shows what the people of the planet -- especially Americans -- what we can do with our technology; to go where no man has gone before."

Liftoff had been scheduled for Tuesday, then Wednesday, because SpaceX said it needed to rid the second-stage fuel system of unwanted particles.

Had Friday's launch been scrubbed, SpaceX would have needed to wait until late December at NASA's request, based on sunlight restrictions on the orbiting lab.

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SpaceX landed the first-stage booster back at Cape Canaveral after liftoff.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk is pushing to lower launch costs by reusing the most expensive rocket parts.

The Dragon holds nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies, including a barley experiment for Budweiser.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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