SpaceX launches AI robot, strong coffee for station crew


A SpaceX rocket that flew just two months ago with a NASA satellite is back in action, launching with fresh station supplies.

The used Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, before dawn Friday. It’s hauling nearly 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of cargo, including the first robot with artificial intelligence bound for space, genetically identical mice, or mousetronauts, and super-caffeinated coffee for the crew of the International Space Station.

The shipment — packed into a Dragon capsule that’s also recycled — should reach the station Monday.

This marks SpaceX’s fastest reflight of a booster. The same first-stage booster launched the planet-hunting Tess satellite in April. The capsule, meanwhile, flew in 2016.

SpaceX won’t retrieve the booster for another flight. The company is switching to a new model.



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