That Makes Three: SpaceX Launches Another Satellite with a Used Rocket, Then Lands

SpaceX is unequivocally putting a reusable-rockets prophesy into action.


A two-stage Falcon 9 booster with a pre-flown initial theatre successfully launched a EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite to circuit currently (Oct. 11), imprinting a third time SpaceX has pulled off such a used-rocket feat.

The Falcon 9 carried off during 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT) from ancestral Pad 39A during NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About 8.5 mins later, a initial theatre came behind to Earth for a pinpoint alighting on a robotic SpaceX boat named “Of Course we Still Love You,” that was stationed in a Atlantic Ocean. It was a second successful idea in 3 days for SpaceX. [The Rockets and Spaceships of SpaceX]

This was a booster’s second successful landing; the initial came on Feb. 19, when a rocket theatre helped send SpaceX’s Dragon load plug on an uncrewed resupply run to a International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. (That Feb launch, by a way, was SpaceX’s initial from Pad 39A, that formerly hosted liftoffs for NASA’s Apollo and space convey programs.)

SpaceX now has a sum of 18 Falcon 9 first-stage touchdowns underneath a belt. The California-based association initial re-flew one of those landed boosters on Mar 30, during a launch of a SES-10 communications satellite. Another launch helped loft a BulgariaSat-1 booster on Jun 23.

Also in June, SpaceX successfully flew a used Dragon plug on an ISS load mission.

These activities are partial of a company’s bid to rise entirely and fast reusable rockets and space vehicles. Such record will condense a cost of spaceflight, assisting open a heavens to exploration, SpaceX owner and CEO Elon Musk has said. Indeed, reusability is pivotal to Musk’s prophesy for Mars colonization, a latest iteration of that he unveiled late final month during a discussion in Australia.

The initial theatre of a two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sits on a rug of a robotic worker boat in a Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 11, 2017, shortly after assisting launch a EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite to orbit.
Credit: SpaceX

With all of that said, a categorical idea of today’s idea was removing EchoStar 105/SES-11 aloft. And that did indeed happen; a Falcon 9’s second theatre deployed a satellite into a designed geostationary send circuit 36 mins after liftoff.

“And there it is!” pronounced SpaceX firmware operative Tom Praderio, who supposing explanation during a company’s launch webcast today. “You can see a EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite successfully deployed from a tip of a Falcon 9 second stage, gliding divided into space.”

As a name suggests, EchoStar 105/SES-11 will be used by both a Colorado-based user EchoStar and a Luxembourg association SES. The satellite will yield high-definition TV use via North America, a Caribbean and Hawaii, according to a SpaceX press kit.

Today’s successful launch and alighting noted a second such double play for SpaceX in a camber of 3 days. On Monday (Oct. 9), a Falcon 9 launched 10 satellites for a communications association Iridium from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. That rocket’s initial theatre (which was brand-new) also aced a drone-ship landing.

Space.com comparison producer Steve Spaleta contributed to this report.    

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.


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