Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

SpaceX to Launch Satellite with Pre-Flown Rocket Tonight

SpaceX on Monday launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 satellites to bolster the global data communications network for Virginia-based company, Iridium.

The rocket is set to blast off at 6:53 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center.

SpaceX will deliver a communications satellite created to broadcast television over the U.S. and parts of the Caribbean this evening.

SpaceX will stream the entire launch for free on YouTube.

The first stage of this Falcon 9 has flown once before: On Feb. 19, it helped launch SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsuleon an uncrewed resupply run to the International Space Station for NASA.

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The mission will serve Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES, a long-time customer of SpaceX. SpaceX will also be trying to recover the Falcon 9 first stage yet again, with a landing at see aboard its autonomous drone ship 'Of Course I Still Love You'.

Once the payload is detached and deployed, the Falcon 9 rocket will fall back to Earth.

After these two launches, SpaceX will have finished 15 missions this year, nearly twice the same number of as the organization did in 2016; SpaceX's launches a year ago were stopped after one of its Falcon 9 rockets detonated on a platform during a normal filling strategy. Return here 15 minutes before launch time to watch SpaceX's scope live.

The space company hopes to fly more used rockets in the coming months as it works to further reduce the cost of space travel. When the present launch is finished, SpaceX will rapidly swing to its next mission in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaxeX has only launched what it calls "flight proven" boosters twice before, but the company hopes a successful mission today will prove that the practice is reliable.

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