SpaceX Successfully Launches South Korean Commercial Satellite

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched on Monday successfully delivering a Koreasat-5A commercial communications satellite into orbit.

The new satellite, launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, will also provide services to the Korean peninsula, said KT Sat.

It marks the 16th successful launch for Elon Musk's company this year - twice the number of successful missions compared with last year. The launch and delivery was streamed live. Minutes after launch, the rocket separated and the tall portion, called the first stage, fired its engines and manoeuvred its grid fins to guide itself back to an upright landing on an ocean platform. The payload, the Koreasat-5A satellite, will replace an existing satellite and expand coverage across Asia and the Middle East, SpaceX said in a statement prior to launch.

KT Sat has already signed up satellite TV operator DDish TV to provide satellite broadcast services throughout Mongolia for 17 years from Koreasat-5A. Problems with the satellite's solar arrays have forced the communications company to retire the craft.

Less than nine minutes after takeoff, the scorched rocket touched down on a droneship marked with an X and labelled "Of Course I Still Love You".

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