Science

SpaceX sends commercial communications satellite to space with third reused rocket

The Falcon 9 rocket "is now standing on the deck", said the SpaceX commentator, as video images showed the smoking rocket securely parked on the platform.

The rocket is expected to release a hybrid satellite called EchoStarr 105/SES-11, which will sit in an orbit 22,000 miles above Earth as its used by two companies, EchoStar and SES.

But a successful landing after launch may be hard because the Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude than other recovered missions.

The Falcon 9 rocket's first stage was previously launched on a cargo mission to the International Space Centre in February 2017.

TechCrunch reported that SpaceX will launch again Wednesday, sending an EchoStar and SES joint high-powered communications satellite in space from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a reusable Falcon 9 first stage rocket.

SpaceX now has a total of 18 Falcon 9 first-stage touchdowns under its belt. About seven minutes after launch, the tall portion of the Falcon 9, known as the first stage, returned to Earth for an upright landing. Newcomer satellite operator Bulgaria Sat was the second, with BulgariaSat-1 in June.

The launch for LC-39A occurred at the beginning of SpaceX's two-hour window, which opened at 6:53 PM EDT. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. Of note, this will be the third time that SpaceX will have launched a previously flown booster.

The SpaceX rocket launched at 5:37 a.m., Pacific time, Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the company said in a statement.

The hybrid satellite is created to operate from geostationary orbit over North America for 15 years.



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