SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ready To Liftoff From NASA's Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

The static fire test has resulted in shifting the launch of the rocket carrying Qatari communications satellite Es'hail-2 by 24 Hours. That freed up the first stage to go through an autonomous sequence of commands and touch down on SpaceX's drone ship, "Of Course I Still Love You", which was standing by hundreds of miles from shore in the Atlantic Ocean.

The launch from pad 39A shot the Falcon 9 with its important Es'hail cargo towards 22,000 miles, right above the equator, or approximately 36,000 kilometers.

The stage first flew last July when it helped boost a Telstar communications satellite into orbit.

Two minutes and 35 seconds after liftoff, the first stage separated and dropped away, followed a few seconds later by ignition of the second stage's single engine.

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It is noted that the current launch was the 18th this year.

What is Falcon 9?

The Mitsubishi Electric Company-build craft offers Ku-band capacity for the 25.5 degree East/ 26degree East orbital slot and features Ka-band capacity with anti-jamming capabilities. Two radio antennas were on board the spacecraft, marking the first time an amateur radio transponder was sent into geostationary orbit.

A proud staple of the SpaceX team as the satellite moved towards its intended destination, the 15-story booster stage made its way back down to earth with its aerodynamic fins as three of the rocket engines ignited to slow down the stage's re-entry. The company already has recovered rocket boosters several times, both on land and on drone ships at sea. Es'hailSat, established in 2010 in Doha, owns and operates satellites to serve broadcasters, businesses and governments. The SpaceX is now waiting for the United Launch Alliance's (ULA) subsequent Delta IV Heavy rocket with the National Reconnaissance (NRO) satellite connected to the northeast side of SpaceX's LZ-4 which provides the rest of the gaps to fill in.

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