SpaceX launches successful 12th International Space Station resupply mission

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LAPD officer Regina Smith shops for school supplies with Xitlali Orozco, 7, and her sister, Jaqueline, 11, at the Granada Hills, Staples store.  Children and Parents from the Girls and Boys Club of San Fernando Valley got to shop with a cop from Valley Traffic Division at the Granada Hills Staple store on Monday, August 14, 2017.   (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
LAPD officer Regina Smith shops for school supplies with Xitlali Orozco, 7, and her sister, Jaqueline, 11, at the Granada Hills, Staples store. Children and Parents from the Girls and Boys Club of San Fernando Valley got to shop with a cop from Valley Traffic Division at the Granada Hills Staple store on Monday, August 14, 2017. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Hundreds of global scientific experiments blasted off Monday from Kennedy Space Center on the nose of a Falcon 9 rocket built by Hawthorne-based SpaceX.

The launch at 9:31 a.m. PDT was Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s 12th International Space Station resupply mission for NASA, and its third this year.

The first-stage rocket booster returned to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station minutes after liftoff. The booster will be retooled for a future mission.

Meanwhile, the self-propelling Dragon carrying the cargo was the last newly built spacecraft the company plans to build as it works to increase reliance on recycled equipment, officials said.

SpaceX officials are working toward rapid reusability of spacecraft and boosters to lower costs and thereby increase private citizens’ access to space.

The cargo included diverse materials that will be used in scientific investigations, such as live plant roots that will be studied to learn why they grow differently in space. Artificially grown lung tissue is on board along with a hardy supercomputer designed to withstand the lengthy commute to Mars.

An ancient community of penicillin that’s been isolated deep beneath the sea floor since dinosaurs roamed the Earth will be studied for clues to discovering bacteria-resistent antibiotics.

The Cosmic-Ray Energetics and Mass investigation, or CREAM, will be attached to the outside of the space station for the next three years. It will closely study the activities of little-understood cosmic rays.

“Cosmic rays reach Earth from far outside the solar system with enormous energies well beyond what man-made accelerators can achieve,” according to a NASA statement.



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