WATCH: What to do (and what not to do) when you launch a rocket


SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday.

JOHANNESBURG - A ball-shaped artificial intelligence robot nicknamed the "flying brain" because it is trained to follow and interact with a German astronaut, blasted off Friday toward the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX&39;s Dragon cargo ship.

The unmanned Dragon capsule carried 5,900 pounds (2,700 kilograms) on its 15th supply mission to the orbiting lab, as part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

Both the capsule and the rocket have flown before.

The Dragon sent cargo to space in 2016 and the Falcon blasted off a NASA satellite two months ago.

The California-based aerospace company headed by Elon Musk is intent on re-using rocket parts and spacecraft to save money and lower the cost of spaceflight.

READ: Billionaire Elon Musk outlines plans for humans to colonise Mars

About 10 minutes into the flight, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon has successfully deployed from the rocket&39;s second stage and was in a "good orbit."

It should arrive at the station on July 2.




In stark contrast, a rocket developed by a Japanese start-up company crashed and exploded seconds after its launch in Hokkaido this weekend.

The 10-metre long rocket was meant to go as high as 100-kilometres into space.

The rocket was made by Interstellar Technologies, a company that creates low-cost, mini rockets.

(Additional reporting by eNCA.)