The recovery of this expensive part of the rocket is needed for SpaceX to achieve its dream of reducing launch costs.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 launched early Monday morning, carrying a powerful telecommunications satellite into orbit.
The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 12:45 a.m. "Nine minutes after lift-off, the rocket's first stage landed 400 miles offshore on the deck of SpaceX's 'Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship - the 29th successful landing by a Falcon booster. However, several missions are now planned for the final two months of the year, including the final launch of 10 Iridium Next satellites, an uncrewed demonstration of the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft and the first Global Positioning System 3 satellite. It made a successful landing on a platform in the Atlantic ocean. "The satellite has a 15-year design life".
Telstar 18V is the third high-throughput satellite in a constellation launched by a Canadian company called Telesat, and it will be the first satellite in this fleet to provide coverage over the Asia-Pacific region.
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According to a statement by Telesat, the satellite will "provide extensive C-band coverage of Asia that reaches from India and Pakistan in the West all the way to Hawaii in the East, enabling direct connectivity from any point in Asia to the Americas". The record was set by its companion Telstar 19 satellite, which weighed in at 15,600 pounds and which launched in late July aboard a different SpaceX Falcon 9.
SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 to the configuration Block 5 and equip it marches in step B1049.1.
Next up for SpaceX is the launch of Argentina's SAOCOM 1A Earth-observation satellite, slated to take place on October 7 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.