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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule blast into orbit

Spacex / EPA

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule lifting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Oct. 7, 2012. SpaceX CRS-1 is the first of twelve contracted commercial resupply missions by NASA to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies.

Terry Renna / AP

The rocket is shown in a time exposure as it lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral on Sunday.

NBC News and news services report:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX's commercial cargo ship rocketed into orbit Sunday in pursuit of the International Space Station, the first of a dozen routine supply runs under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

The spacecraft carried 1,000 pounds of key science experiments and other precious gear. There was also a personal touch: chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream tucked in a freezer for the three station residents.

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