SpaceX has been setting the bar high for private spaceflight companies, and tonight they raised it even higher.
For the second time, they have succesfully landed their rocket on a droneship in the ocean.
At exactly 1:21 a.m. ET, a Falcon 9 rocket launched out of SpaceX’s launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida into space, carrying with it the Japanese telecommunications satellite JCSAT-14.
This was their fourth launch this year, and right now their track record is four for four.
They will be finishing this launch off with another attempt at an ocean landing.
SpaceX’s main mission is to transport the JCSAT-14 satellite into orbit about 25,000 miles above sea level.
The satellite will join satellite operator Sky Perfect JSAT’s existing fleet of satellites. It will deliver high definition television and emergency communications services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
If SpaceX safely lands this rocket, it will be the third time in history that they successfully land one of their rockets and the second time they land successfully on their ocean platform.
The landing would be a huge step towards SpaceX’s goal of drastically lowering the cost of spaceflight with reusable rockets, giving them the opportunity to prove once again that they can make it work.
But because of the extremely high orbit the rocket is launching to, SpaceX does not anticipate a safe landing for the rocket.
“Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.
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