Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Japanese communications satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida Monday.
After propelling the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 satellite into orbit, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a barge — dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You” — floating in the Atlantic Ocean for potential use in future missions.
It marked the third time that particular rocket’s first stage was recovered. The rocket was previously used in launches in May and July of this year. SpaceX has pioneered efforts to recover rockets for re-use as a way of dramatically slashing the costs of launches. To date, the company has successfully landed 47 rockets back on land or on floating barges.
SpaceX attempted to use large nets on a pair of other large boats — dubbed “Ms. Tree” and “Ms. Chief” — to capture the two halves of the rocket’s fairing, or nosecone. According to SpaceX, the vessels “narrowly missed” catching the fairings, which landed in the ocean. SpaceX crews were working to recover the fairings from the water for reuse.
The satellite launched into orbit was built for SKY Perfect JSAT, a Japanese broadcast company, and is expected to support mobile and broadband internet service in the Asia-Pacific region, including the far eastern part of Russia, according to SpaceX.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: