SpaceX Successfully Launches Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express Mission

06 December, 2018, 11:27 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • Watch SpaceX launch a twice-used rocket tomorrow at 1:31PM ET

SpaceX made company history today by using its most-used rockets to send 64 satellites into orbit.

SpaceX successfully reused for a third time a Falcon 9 rocket booster on Monday - a company first.

This mission also marks a first for SpaceX: It's the first time the company has sent the same first-stage booster into space three times.

The Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to liftoff at 10:32 a.m. from Vandenberg on a "ridesharing" mission to carry 64 satellites into orbit.

After engine shutdown, the booster used its grid fins and cold gas thrusters to maintain a proper descent attitude, before once again lighting a group of its engines to land on the "Just Read the Instructions" Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship It was the nineteenth successful droneship landing for SpaceX and third droneship landing for this particular booster.

More news: Australia v India in the first Test at Adelaide Oval

For commercial customers, a Falcon 9 launch costs US$62m (£48.5m). "Mr Steven is picking them up", Musk tweeted. "Nothing wrong with a little swim", he added. The mission, on behalf of the private company Spaceflight, set a record for the largest single launch of satellites from USA soil, SpaceX said.

"It includes 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from both commercial and government entities, of which more than 25 are from worldwide organizations from 17 countries, including the United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Canada, Brazil and India", according to Spaceflight Industries.

Reusability is a key priority for SpaceX, which aims to re-fly its space vehicles frequently and repeatedly. Quickly now, the company is delivering on its promise of reusable spaceflight with its new Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket.

It has been confirmed by Seoul's Ministry of Science and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology that the country's satellite successfully entered its orbital altitude and was in full operation about six and a half hours after the launch. In a statement, the company described it as "one of the most intricate endeavours" it has ever undertaken.

The mission also served as the first time SpaceX launched the same rocket booster for the third time. For several years, the company worked on building relationships between small satellite companies and launch providers. SpaceX has given up washing or re-painting its first stage rockets between flights, because it views such cosmetic changes as an unnecessary expenditure of time and expense.

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