Pre-Flown SpaceX Rocket Launches Commercial Communications Satellite

Pre-Flown SpaceX Rocket Launches Commercial Communications Satellite

Pre-Flown SpaceX Rocket Launches Commercial Communications Satellite

The first stage is back on the launch pad Sunday for its second flight.

On June 4, 2010, the first Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX blasted off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden voyage and reached orbit. The weather appears favorable, with a 70 percent chance of "go" conditions.

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The company has now re-flown Falcon 9 first stages 13 times and landed the boosters on more than two dozen occasions. Its first stages are created to fly 10 times with inspections between landing and launch only, and 100 times or more with some refurbishment involved.

However, the WSJ piece also notes that SpaceX is facing uncertain demand for Falcon Heavy, and that the company itself is projecting a significant drop in launches next year due to fewer contracts for large satellite launches-smaller satellites can be happily sent into orbit using SpaceX's smaller, more proven Falcon 9 rocket. "We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that is indeed able to be reused without taking apart", Musk said last month.

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Payer traveled from SES headquarters in Luxembourg to watch the launch of his company's SES-12 satellite.

The satellite will provide direct-to-home TV, broadband and data relay services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and the Middle East, according to CBS News.

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The Falcon 9 rocket soared off Launch Complex 40 at 12:45 a.m.; the launch was delayed 16 minutes because of gusty winds.

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