Falcon 9 shortly after launch
The Falcon 9 leaves the launch pad amid clear Florida skies. Courtesy SpaceX

Hawthorne-based SpaceX marked it’s second successful satellite launch and rocket recovery in four days on Wednesday.

A recycled Falcon 9 rocket —  the third mission of the year using a pre-used vehicle — lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:53 p.m. California time carrying the EchoStar 105/SES- 11 communications satellite.

Minutes after the launch, the first stage of the rocket landed on the whimsically named barge “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX previously conducted missions using pre-used Falcon 9 rocket stages in March and June. Company founder Elon Musk has touted the recovery process as saving millions of dollars by re-using the equipment instead of merely allowing it to burn up in the atmosphere.

The rocket being used for Wednesday’s launch was previously used in February for an International Space Station supply mission.

According to SpaceX, the satellite being launched is a “high-powered hybrid Ku and C-band communications satellite” built for United States-based EchoStar and Luxembourg-based SES.

On Sunday, SpaceX successfully propelled 10 satellites into orbit aboard a rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.