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SpaceX launches 16th Falcon 9 in 2017, recovers first stage

RATE THIS! +25
Posted in Hardware on 30th Oct, 2017 11:05 PM by Alex Muller

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with the Koreasat-5A communications satellite lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. About 8.5 minutes after launch, the rocket's first stage came down for a landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles offFlorida.

 

A fire smoldered at the booster's base shortly after the landing, but SpaceX quickly put it out. [In Photos: SpaceX's Koreasat-5A Launch & Rocket Landing]

 
"A little toasty, but stage one is certainly still intact on the drone ship," SpaceX lead mechanical engineer John Federspiel said during launch commentary today.
 
The Falcon 9 second stage, meanwhile, continued powering Koreasat-5A to a distant geostationary transfer orbit, eventually deploying the satellite 35.5 minutes after liftoff. 
 
The rocket landing was the 19th that SpaceX has pulled off during orbital launches. These dramatic events are part of the company's plan to develop completely reusable rockets and space vehicles, a breakthrough that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said will slash the cost of spaceflight.
 
To date, SpaceX has re-flown three of these landed Falcon 9 first stages, as well as one Dragon cargo capsule. In addition, the company's next resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA will feature a pre-flown Dragon. (The Falcon 9 that launched today was a brand-new vehicle.)
 
South Korean company KT Sat will use the 8,160-lb. (3,700 kilograms) Koreasat-5A to provide direct-to-home broadcast and broadband services to customers in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, among other nations. The newly launched satellite will take over for Koreasat-5, which launched in 2006.

Tags: spaceSpaceXrocketElon Muskhardware

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