SpaceX has succeeded in launching its second Falcon 9 rocket in a gap of 3 days. It’s the third time, after 9th March and June this year that a landed booster was used before it was reused again for a second successful instance. The vehicle was used once before, in February this year to loft cargo to ISS. During that time, it landed at SpaceX’s ground base Landing zone 1.
In this instance, it landed on one of the company’s drone ships in the Atlantic, off the coast of Cape Carnival, Florida. It’s the 12th time for the company with the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket in 2017, and the 18th overall. It’ll definitely increase the usage of rockets that were used before. According to Musk, they are trying to make the landed boosters ready to be used again within just 24 hours to fly Falcon 9s more frequently and to achieve their target of six launches in the next year. SpaceX does provide discounts on the usage of used Falcon 9s.
This time the rocket carried a hybrid satellite EchoStar 105/SES-11, that will be used by two companies – SES & EchoStar. While orbiting at a height of 22,000 miles, it’ll provide HD broadcasts to the US & other parts of America. Though this is the first time for EchoStar, SES did take part before when the SES-10 satellite was sent by the first reused Falcon 9, back in March. SES CEO Martin Halliwell was quite clear about his intentions when he said in a press conference in March, ‘We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight and make access to space in terms of cost & manifest management.’
Today’s launch was scheduled for a two-hour launch window starting from 6:53 PM ET. The weather & conditions were good. The live coverage was telecasted by SpaceX itself, among others.