The Falcon 9 rocket may reach 50 launches on Tuesday
07 March, 2018, 00:15
SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space early Tuesday from Canaveral Air Force Station. The liftoff took place from US Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex at 05:33 GMT.
This time around, SpaceX passed up the opportunity to try bringing the Falcon 9's first-stage down onto the deck of a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean after launch.
SpaceX has also logged one launch of the powerful triple-body Falcon Heavy rocket this year, bringing the company's tally for 2018 to five missions. Then, just a few days later on April 2nd, the company will launch a Falcon 9 and its Dragon spacecraft on a path to the International Space Station with supplies for the astronauts living there. The reliable Falcon 9 will make its way skyward for the 50th time, which is an incredible achievement for a company who not long ago seemed more skilled at filming its own failures than successfully launching rockets.
Following the test phase, the satellite will assume its final orbital position, 30 degrees West, and replace Hispasat 30W-4, in orbit since September 2002.
The launch had been previously delayed and ran over a week late.
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A Falcon 9 is slated to take off from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center as early as April 5 to boost the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite into space for the government of Bangladesh followed by launch of NASA's exoplanet-hunting TESS spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 16. Getting a heavy satellite that high uses up a lot of fuel, leaving little leftover for the Falcon 9 to perform a landing.
The Hispasat 30W-6 launch was the second of the missions SpaceX conducted for Spanish customers.
The satellite will be deployed approximately 33 minutes after launch.
The Falcon 9 achieved 50 successful launches more than four years faster than United Launch Alliance's Atlas V, which debuted in 2002 and has been the USA government's workhorse for national security and high-value science payloads.
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