Another successful launch by SpaceX
On Monday evening, the SpaceX rocket booster that transported two NASA astronauts on a pioneering trip to the International Space Station two months ago took off again — this time to carry a large satellite communications into space.
The Falcon 9, with the ANASIS-II took off from the Cape Canaveral in Florida on Monday at 5:30 p.m. EDT, using a first-stage booster that SpaceX launched to the International Space Station less than two months ago - With NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley strapped inside, the same rocket vaulted a gumdrop-shaped spacecraft, Crew Dragon, into orbit on May 30. They will be back from ISS in this august.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is the world's first launch vehicle featuring a first-stage reusable booster. The company has been routinely recovering the boosters for years: after spending most of its fuel on the first stage, it detaches itself from the second stage of the rocket and then steers back to an upright landing on seafaring platforms or ground pad. The rocket's second, non-reusable stage then ignites its own engine to finish off the flight.
SpaceX has flew up to five times a single rocket booster and Musk said the new first-stage version of the Falcon 9 would fly up to 10 times with limited modifications required between launches. The first-stage booster fired its engines for around two and a half minutes before breaking off and steering back to one of the company's remote-controlled platforms within Monday's flight. This will take about eight-and-a-half minutes for the entire thing.
South Korean satellite, named ANASIS II and designed under a contract with Lockheed Martin-Airbus, was deployed about half an hour after the takeoff from the second stage of the rocket. Last week the satellite was scheduled to launch but SpaceX delayed the mission to inspect the second stage of the rocket, the company had said in a tweet.