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26 August 2017, 01:28 | Francis Delgado
SpaceX's twelfth launch and ninth recovery of 2017 ready for a Thursday liftoff
The rocket carried the Formosat-5 satellite into orbit for the Taiwanese National Space Organization (NSPO). The event will be streamed live.
Less than 11 minutes after launch, the first stage set down on the vessel, the latest success in SpaceX's drive for reusability.
He extended his congratulations and appreciation to the NSPO's Formosat-5 team and the SpaceXlaunch team for their efforts. Prior to this, the most SpaceX had ever launched in a year was eight rockets. Additionally, SpaceX has finally started reusing the rockets it has recovered, sending two previously flown boosters into space this year.
The launch was also a milestone for SpaceX, which has now successfully launched 12 rockets this year.
Formosat-5 is the first satellite to be fully designed by Taiwan's space agency and is meant to advance the nation's space technology and scientific research while providing global imagery with a wide array of uses ranging from natural resource studies to disaster management.
The NT$5.65 billion (S$254 million), 450kg mini-satellite, which will be used to collect data to evaluate the impact of natural disasters and monitor environmental changes on Earth, was designed and built from scratch by scientists and engineers from Taiwan's National Space Organisation.
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Meanwhile, the Seattle launch broker arranged for most of the 90 satellites slated to launch with Formosat 5 to fly on other rockets, including an Indian PSLV mission and a Russian Soyuz flight earlier this year.
The launch went off as planned from VAFB's Space Launch Complex-4 just after 11:51 a.m. The 42-minute launch window opens at 2:51pm ET.
The next Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base is scheduled for September 30 with the third batch of 10 next-generation voice and data relay satellites for Iridium.
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