SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on record-tying 14th mission

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket on its record-tying 14th mission Saturday (Oct. 8), sending two business communications satellites to orbit.

The Falcon 9, topped with Intelsat’s Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 satellites, lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Area Drive Station on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. EDT (2305 GMT). 

The Falcon 9’s first stage got here again to Earth and landed on SpaceX’s A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship about 8.5 minutes after launch. The robotic ship was stationed within the Atlantic Ocean, just a few hundred miles off the Florida coast.

Associated: 8 ways in which SpaceX has remodeled spaceflight

It was the 14th launch and touchdown for this specific booster, in line with a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab). The rocket beforehand helped launch the GPS III-3 and Turksat 5A satellites, the Transporter-2 rideshare mission and 10 large batches of SpaceX’s Starlink web satellites.

Fourteen missions is the report for a Falcon 9 first stage, first set simply final month throughout a launch that lofted the BlueWalker 3 communications satellite tv for pc and 34 Starlinks.

Galaxy 33 was deployed about 33 minutes after liftoff and Galaxy 34 adopted swimsuit 5 minutes later, SpaceX confirmed by way of Twitter (opens in new tab).

The duo “are the following satellites in Intelsat’s complete Galaxy fleet refresh plan, a brand new era of technology that may present Intelsat Media prospects in North America with high-performance media distribution capabilities and unmatched penetration of cable headends,” Luxembourg-based Intelsat wrote in a press release (opens in new tab). “It’s important to Intelsat’s U.S. C-band clearing technique.”

Saturday’s launch was the third for SpaceX in a four-day stretch. On Wednesday, the corporate launched the Crew-5 astronaut mission for NASA in addition to a batch of 52 Starlink satellites.

Saturday’s flight was initially purported to launch on Thursday night (Oct. 6), however the Falcon 9 initiated an auto abort shortly (opens in new tab) earlier than the deliberate liftoff. The abort was brought on by a small helium leak, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk stated by way of Twitter Thursday (opens in new tab). SpaceX then pushed the launch again to Saturday to carry out extra automobile checks.

Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook concerning the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Fb (opens in new tab).  

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