On May 14, 1973, a Saturn V rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex (LC) 39A with Skylab, the first U.S. space station. The launch opened a new chapter in the nascent field of human space exploration but also marked the end of the country’s capability to put more than 100,000 lb. (45,359 kg) into low Earth orbit in a single go. Now, after more than 44 years, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is nearing the debut test flight of its triple-core Falcon 9 in an ...


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