Elon Musk’s SpaceX Matches Launch Record With 18th Mission This Year

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Matches Launch Record With 18th Mission This Year”

At 20:46 GMT, Thursday, on a cloudy day, the 229-foot tall rocket ignited its nine Merlin engines from NASA's Kennedy Space Center making it the first launch since May.

The rocket and its payload hit a succession of milestones within minutes of takeoff, including first and second stage separation, as well as the release of the payload fairings.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It will be refurbished and launched for a third time as part of SpaceX's plan to cut down launch costs.

This launch came about one month after SpaceX's last launch, clocking in at #18 for the year. A Qatari satellite deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX's Es'hail-2 mission will send a communications satellite 22,000 miles into space for state-owned Qatar Satellite Company, providing added communications access for large swaths of the Middle East and North African regions.

It also features the first Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation - AMSAT - payload to fly aboard a geostationary satellite, providing coverage stretching from Brazil to Thailand.

Modification Block 5является Falcon 9 rocket reusable. The Es'hail 2 will be situated 26 degrees east longitude over the equator. However, in 2018, the company still has a chance to surpass the record - November 19, scheduled to launch from Vandenberg air force base in California. The rocket experienced some serious problems along the way, but the company's number of successful launches has nearly made them boring over the past few years.

Earlier, the President and CEO of Es'hailSat, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, said: "We are very excited about the launch of Es'hail-2, the second in our planned fleet of satellites".

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