SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off Monday evening carrying a "behemoth" communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center, WKMG reports.

Instead, the spent rocket will fall into the Atlantic Ocean, as numerous rocket boosters did before SpaceX and others like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin led the charge toward reusable rockets.

The SpaceX webcast for tonight's launch should begin about 20 minutes before the window opens.

The satellite is the size of a double decker bus. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk explained the reasoning behind recovering the booster rockets in previous missions, pointing out that one of the company's goals is to make launches cheaper by reusing booster rockets.

"Once in geostationary orbit, the satellite will provide additional capacity for Global Xpress users on land, at sea and in the air". It's also going to travel 22,000 miles (35,727 km) above the Earth's surface. Recent launches have seen successful returns of the first stage of the rocket.

So far, 10 Falcon 9 first stages have returned intact after launching, including one rocket that has now flown twice. The Inmarsat-5 F4 (or I5F4) comes in at roughly 13,500 lbs (6,123 kg). However, since the company has not brought those into commercial flights yet, it chose to go with a regular Falcon.

Additionally, today's launch comes just over two weeks after SpaceX's last mission - and the company's next launch is tentatively scheduled for just over two weeks from now.

Boeing has built the Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite. The launch has been to place the satellite into space alongside three of its peers.

The National Reconnaissance Office bought SpaceX's launch services via a contract with Ball Aerospace, a Colorado-based satellite and instrument builder.

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