SpaceX Satellites Launched, Rocket Hits Landing

SpaceX completed its third launch with a previously used first stage booster October 11, carrying a geostationary satellite for customers EchoStar and SES. The same booster first flew on a February mission to the International Space Station with a Dragon capsule.

The company SpaceX launched the night of Thursday the launch vehicle Falcon 9 with the telecommunications satellite dual-use SES-11/EchoStar 105.

On a clear autumn evening at 6:53 pm (2253 GMT), the tall, white Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying the Echostar 105/SES-11 satellite. During the last launch, the Elon Musk-led company sent its 12th Falcon 9 booster of 2017. Newcomer satellite operator Bulgaria Sat was the second, with BulgariaSat-1 in June.

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SpaceX is now halfway toward its goal of launching up to six pre-flown first stages this year.

SpaceX successfully landed the rocket's first stage on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean for reuse in another future launch.

"Couldn't be more ideal weather for a launch", said a commentator on SpaceX's live webcast. "One of our core strategies is to offer new services that are either flat out impossible or not easily replicated by more traditional "bent pipe" and geostationary systems". If this third launch of a "flight proven" booster proves successful, SpaceX will likely have a much easier time of finding customers for flight-proven rockets in the future. "You can see the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite successfully deployed from the top of the Falcon 9 second stage, gliding away into space". The company has the option to renew annually after the the 10-year lease has elapsed. Its payload was a communications satellite capable of broadcasting on both the Ku-band for client EchoStar, and the C-Band fro SES.

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