SpaceX successfully launches and recovers third reused Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX successfully launches and recovers third reused Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX successfully launches and recovers third reused Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 today.

As its name suggests, EchoStar 105/SES-11 will be used by both the Colorado-based operator EchoStar and the Luxembourg company SES.

I say "final goal" because the highlight of Wednesday's launch will be the re-usage of a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage booster. About seven minutes after launch, the tall portion of the Falcon 9, known as the first stage, returned to Earth for an upright landing.

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EchoStar 105/SES-11 provides EchoStar with 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz, marketed as EchoStar 105, while it provides SES with a C-band payload of 24 transponders, marketed under the name SES-11. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Falcon 9 rocket "is now standing on the deck", said the SpaceX commentator, as video images showed the smoking rocket securely parked on the platform.

The rocket went through stage separation minutes into its ascent - and in what has now become a well-worn routine, the second stage blasted onward into orbit while the first stage went through a series of autonomous maneuvers to fly itself to its landing spot.

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Beginning with SES-10's launch in March 2017 and BulgariaSat-1 in June 2017, SES-11 will be the third commercial reuse of a Falcon 9 in a bit less than seven months.

"And there it is!" said SpaceX firmware engineer Tom Praderio, who provided commentary during the company's launch webcast today. "One of our core strategies is to offer new services that are either flat out impossible or not easily replicated by more traditional "bent pipe" and geostationary systems". Of note, this will be the third time that SpaceX will have launched a previously flown booster.

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