Success! SpaceX completed its second mission of the year, which was also one of its most difficult to date.
And we have to say that it’s about time. After 4 scrubs, two of which were down to the last minutes, SpaceX has kept us in launch limbo for the last nine days.
But on Friday evening, our patience was rewarded. At exactly 6:35 p.m. ET, a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off toward space carrying with it the 17,500-pound SES-9 communications satellite:
SpaceX’s goal was to transport the SES-9 satellite into orbit about 22,000 miles above sea level. Obviously, that takes some time for the rocket to reach such great heights.
About 32 minutes after lift-off, the crowd at SpaceX cheered as the rocket’s second stage successfully deployed its payload into space, which you can see taking place below. This marked a successful end to SpaceX’s mission.
Weighing in at approximately 11,750 pounds, the SES-9 satellite will be the largest payload yet that SpaceX has launched to such great heights.
Consequently, this is also one of SpaceX’s most difficult missions to date.
While the main mission was a success, SpaceX had a secondary goal to attempt to land the first stage of its rocket on board a floating ocean platform called “Of Course I Still Love You.”
A successful landing is a critical step in SpaceX’s future asprations to usher in an era of cheaper spaceflights run on reusable rockets.
This time around, SpaceX had low hopes of pulling off the landing, and there were no reports of the landing during SpaceX’s live coverage of the mission.
Therefore, we are still awaiting more information and will update you as it comes in.
In the mean time, check out what the previous three ocean platform lading attempts looked like below:
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