Check out these cool pictures of SpaceX’s latest rocket launch

SpaceX successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket for the International Space Station (ISS) on the morning of Sunday, December 6.

The rocket and the upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:17 am ET.

The unmanned Cargo Dragon carries supplies for the ISS crew and is scheduled to dock at the orbiting outpost on Monday, December 7.

Later in the day, the commercial space company run by billionaire businessman Elon Musk released impressive footage of the launch, taken from a nearby helicopter (below).

Helicopter follow-up footage of today’s Falcon 9 launch at LC-39A

& mdash; SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 7, 2020

SpaceX’s 21st resupply mission to the ISS also marks the debut of its revamped Cargo Dragon spacecraft. The updated model is capable of autonomously docking with the ISS, unlike its recently retired predecessor which had to be “captured” by the station’s robotic arm as part of the docking process.

The launch of the spacecraft on Sunday means that the current mission will see the ISS host two Dragon spacecraft for the first time: the Crew Dragon, which docked at the ISS in November with four astronauts on the spacecraft’s first operational mission, and the recently designed one. Cargo Dragon, which, unlike the astronaut transport version, has no seats, leaving more room for supplies.

As usual, SpaceX’s first-stage Falcon 9 booster made a safe return to Earth, landing upright on its Of course I still love you droneship waiting in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. However, the images from this event were less impressive …

Falcon 9 booster has landed on the droneship of Course I Still Love You

& mdash; SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 6, 2020

SpaceX also released footage of the moment Cargo Dragon parted ways with the second stage to begin its solo journey to the space station. The spacecraft carries around 6,400 pounds of cargo that includes food, clothing, and science experiments.

The separation from the dragon was confirmed; the spaceship is on its way to the @Spacial station. Autonomous docking tomorrow at approximately 1:30 pm EST

& mdash; SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 6, 2020

Last month, NASA and its international partners celebrated 20 years of continuous humans aboard the space station. Watch these videos showing how astronauts work, rest and play on the ISS.

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