Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched a South Korean military communications satellite into orbit Monday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, in the process beating its own record for turnaround time in the reuse of a rocket.
The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at about 2:30 p.m. California time, following a roughly half-hour delay due to weather over Florida. The launch was originally scheduled last Tuesday, but was delayed due to a last-minute repair issue.
The rocket was carrying the South Korean ANASIS-II satellite.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that launched Monday’s mission was previously used in SpaceX’s historic May 30 launch of two astronauts to the International Space Station. The 51-day turnaround time broke the company’s record for the re-use of a rocket stage.
According to Spaceflight Now, SpaceX’s previous fastest turnaround time for a rocket was 62 days. NASA, meanwhile, launched the space shuttle Atlantis twice in 54 days in 1985. The time between Atlantis’ landing and subsequent launch was 50 days, Spaceflight Now reported.
Following Monday’s launch, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of the rocket on its floating drone ship, named “Just Read the Instructions,” in the Atlantic Ocean for re-use in future missions.
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