US space firm SpaceX has launched a commercial communications satellite into space with its third partly reused rocket. The EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite took off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in the southern state of Florida, a live webcast showed, Xinhua news agency reported. Also Read - High-speed solar storm to hit Earth today, impact phone signals: NASA warnsAlso Read - Elon Musk turns 50: Five coolest tech-related things he did via Tesla, SpaceX and more
The rocket’s first stage for the mission previously supported previously supported SpaceX’s 10th resupply mission to the International Space Station in February of this year. It was the third time SpaceX has used a “flight-proven” first stage on a mission.
Roughly eight minutes after launch, the rocket’s first stage completed a vertical landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. “Falcon 9 first stage has landed on Of Course I Still Love You – third successful mission with a flight-proven orbital class rocket,” the company tweeted minutes after the landing. ALSO READ: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils plan to reach Mars by 2022
Rocket recovery was part of an ongoing effort by SpaceX to bring down spaceflight costs. The satellite launched on Wednesday will be used by both US-based operator EchoStar and Luxembourg-based operator SES.
It will operate in a Geostationary Transfer Orbit, providing high-definition broadcasts to the US, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.