SpaceX launched a large communications satellite into orbit early Saturday morning (May 27), as the company neared 200 successful landings of its first-stage rocket boosters.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Arabsat BADR-8 satellite lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Saturday morning (May 27) at 12:30 a.m. ET (0430 GMT). The rocket’s first stage lands on SpaceX’s droneship, read instructions Eight minutes and 46 seconds later.
Tonight’s mission marked SpaceX’s 195th successful landing between Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, SpaceX’s Veronica Foreman said during the launch live.
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Bad weather pushed SpaceX’s previous two attempts at the mission earlier this week. Conditions were very favorable tonight, leading to a successful night’s sleep in the humid skies of Florida’s Space Coast.
As a step, this is the 14th mission for this particular Falcon 9 first stage SpaceX mission description. Those previous flights included two private space missions, Inspiration4 in September 2021 and Ax-1 in April 2022.
Ax-1, operated by Houston-based Axiom Space, sent four people to the International Space Station for a stay of about two weeks. SpaceX launched Axiom’s second mission, Ax-2, on Sunday (May 22) sending its four crew members toward the orbiting observatory on a Falcon 9.
Fourteen flights are not SpaceX’s reusable record. The current Mark 15 launched a large batch of the company’s Starlink Internet satellites last December.
Arabsat BADR-8 weighs about 9,900 pounds (4,500 kilograms), According to EverydayAstronaut.com. The satellite is attached to a geostationary orbit approximately 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) from Earth.
It takes four to five months for the satellite to reach its operational orbit. Once there and fully verified, BADR-8 will provide TV broadcast and other telecommunications services to Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat to Central Africa, Europe and the Middle East, EverydayAstronaut.com wrote.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 24 at 1:30 a.m. EDT with news of the scrubbed May 23 attempt.
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