Hawthorne-based aerospace firm SpaceX launched a commercial communications satellite into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in Florida Monday, but the company did not attempt to recover the first stage of its Falcon 9 back on Earth.
SpaceX has gained acclaim for its success at recovering the expensive rockets for re-use in future missions. According to the company, such an attempt wasn’t planned for Monday’s flight “due to mission requirements.”
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite took off around 4:20 p.m. California time. According to SpaceX, the satellite is the fourth in the “Global Xpress constellation,” and will improve the reliability of Inmarsat’s GX global communications network.
The satellite, weighing an estimated 13,000 pounds, is believed to be the heaviest ever lifted into orbit by one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets.
—City News Service