The question about the rolled-up and deployable solar array How does ROSA unroll? (Roll Out Solar Array) begins:

The upcoming SpaceX launch with the apparently first re-use of a dragon capsule will bring with it the Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA).

(See also: More science, reused Dragon capsule featured on CRS-11)

and the linked Spaceflight Insider article states:

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — SpaceX is continuing its effort to increase its operational tempo and demonstrate spacecraft reusability with its latest mission. While delivering supplies and multiple experiments, the CRS-11 cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will also feature the first reuse of a Dragon pressure vessel as well as the return of a Falcon 9 first stage to Landing Zone 1 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Hawthorne, California-based company is targeting 5:55 p.m. EDT (21:55 GMT), June 1, 2017, for the launch of its CRS-11 Dragon atop a ‘Full Thrust’ Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at KSC. The pressure vessel for this spacecraft previously flew on SpaceX’s fourth ISS resupply mission in 2014.

I'm using the word "capsule" where they are using the term "pressure vessel", I hope they are the same or similar thing in this case.

Was CRS-11 indeed the first re-use? This comment might suggest otherwise, but there may be some ambiguity due to the reiteration of the term "upcoming".

To clarify this, and to better understand how Dragon capsule reuse:

  1. For how many uses of a Dragon capsule was it a reuse?
  2. How many individual capsules have been reused?
  3. What's the current maximum number of reuses of a given capsule?

1 Answer 1


So the answer to all three of your questions is the same. Three capsules have been reused; C110, C106, and C108. Each of these capsules have been used twice. C110 on CRS-8 and 14, C106 on CRS-4 and CRS-11, and C108 on CRS-6 and CRS-13. Assuming everything goes as planned on Friday, this number will be four capsules, still with two uses; C111 is going up for its second time on CRS-15, its first flight having been CRS-9.

As for your other questions, yes, CRS-11 was the first reuse. I think pressure vessel and capsule are fair to be interchanged. The big difference being that when they say capsule, SpaceX mean not only the pressure vessel, but also the trunk (which is jettisoned and not returned), the heatshield/parachutes (which are replaced after each landing), and likely some electronics which are destroyed by submersion in salt water so are simply replaced.

My source for the above is the (well-sourced) community wiki on the spacex subreddit.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, edited to change it to 'used' since that's a little clearer. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2018 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, excellent answer! C202 might be an interesting caveat; not twice to space, but "used" in some fashion more than once? Or is that just a rumor? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 27, 2018 at 2:35

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