Thursday, March 30, 2017

SpaceX Succesfully Launches, Lands Reused Falcon 9 Rocket



CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- SpaceX has successfully launched and landed a refurbished Falcon 9 rocket that blasted off at 6:27 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 landed on the autonomous drone ship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean about five minutes after launch.  This artifact of space history will later be ferried back to Port Canaveral, Florida.

The reused first stage rocket was previously launched with a Dragon capsule from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 8, 2016 for a resupply mission to the International Space Station. The first stage was then shipped to MacGregor, Texas to undergo refurbishment and testing before returning to Florida for its historic flight.



Successful Payload Deployment

It has been confirmed that the Falcon 9's payload, a communications satellite, has successfully reached geosynchronous orbit. Fittingly, SpaceX made the historic launch with an SES-10 communications satellite - the same company which risked its payload aboard SpaceX's first commercial launch in December 2013.

“Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket. We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight, and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and manifest management,” Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES said.

The SES-10 satellite will provide television broadcast and telecommunication services to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Video and photo credit: SpaceX