Falcon rocket with satellite for Taiwan launches from Vandenberg

Falcon 9 set to launch Taiwanese Formosat-5 from California

SpaceX goes for a dozen today, and to surpass Russia in launches

Today, SpaceX goes for a dozen launches this year, with the launch attempt of the Formosat-5 from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The event will be streamed live.

It was the 15th successful landing for the a first-stage booster by SpaceX, with the others occuring following Florida launches.

Formosat-5 was built by Taiwan's space agency, the National Space Organization, known by the acronym NSPO.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a long-delayed remote sensing satellite for the government of Taiwan Aug. 24, executing another first stage landing in the process. The satellite was deployed into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 720 kilometers.

In another Facebook post before the launch, Tsai said FormoSat-5 was carrying Taiwanese technology as well as Taiwanese dream.

SpaceX launched the satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly before noon. The gate opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 11:40 a.m. Weapons, alcohol, smoke, open fires and/or barbecues will not be allowed.

The Earth-observing Formosat-5 satellite, which cost about $168 million to construct, is expected to complete a five-year mission in which it will collect a range of data that will be used for evaluation of natural disasters, national security, environmental monitoring, rescue operations and scientific research, according to the Taipei Times.

It's hard to believe it was less than two years ago that a SpaceX Falcon 9 landing was an elusive and unprecedented achievement.

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