WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- NASA and SpaceX launched the first mission of the upgraded cargo version of Dragon spacecraft on Sunday.
The spacecraft lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 11:17 a.m. EST Sunday, from historic Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX confirmed the separation of Dragon from Falcon 9's second stage about 11 minutes after liftoff. The spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously dock to the space station on Monday.
Falcon 9's reusable first-stage booster has successfully landed on the "Of Course I still Love You" droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the first flight of the updated cargo version of Dragon, which is capable of carrying about 20 percent more volume than the previous version of Dragon and has double the amount of powered locker cargo capability.