SpaceX successfully launches satellite

22 Aug

On Aug 15, 2016 the skies above Florida were lit up as the privately owned Hawthorn, California-based company SpaceX successfully carried off a pre-dawn launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket blasted-off at 1:26 am ET (5:26 am UTC) to carry off its two-fold mission of deploying the JCSAT-16 communication satellite and land the first stage of the rocket on a drone barge.

When the engines of the rocket rocket roared to life there was a large roar from the launch center. Within a few seconds the rocket accelerated and cleared the launch towers on its way to space.After a couple of minutes the rocket broke into space where the first and second stage separated.

The control center then took over control of the first stage to attempt bringing it back in for a landing on the drone barge “of course I still love you”. As the control center brought the first stage in for a handing everyone watching held their breath in anticipation. For those of us watching the live feed it was extra suspenseful as the feed froze just as the first stage approached the drone barge. Soon there was a cheer and the feed resumed showing that the first stage did indeed land. This was the 4th time that SpaceX has made such a landing since the first one took place in December of 2015. They also made 2 landings on solid ground earlier this year to bring the total to 6 landings overall.

After the separation, and landing of the first stage, the second stage of the Falcon 9 traveled on to finish the primary part of the mission and deploy the JCSAT-16 satellite into orbit 36,000 miles above the Earth. Once in a geostationary transfer orbit the satellite will become part of an array of satellites that provide a vast array of types of communications to Russia, the Middle East, Asia, North America, and other areas.

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