SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on record-breaking 14th mission

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket on its record-breaking 14th mission Saturday, Oct. 8, sending two commercial communications satellites into orbit.

The Falcon 9topped by Intelsat’s Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 satellites, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. EDT (2305 GMT).

The Falcon 9 first stage returned to Earth and landed on SpaceX’s A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship about 8.5 minutes after launch. The robotic ship was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida.

Related: 8 Ways SpaceX Transformed Spaceflight

This was the 14th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in a new tab). The rocket previously helped launch the GPS III-3 and Turksat 5A satellites, the Transporter-2 rideshare mission and 10 big batches of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites.

Fourteen missions is the record for a Falcon 9 first stage, first set last month in a launch that launched the BlueWalker 3 communications satellite and 34 Starlinks.

The Galaxy 33 was deployed approximately 33 minutes after liftoff and the Galaxy 34 followed suit five minutes later, SpaceX confirmed via Twitter (opens in a new tab).

The duo” are the next satellites in Intelsat’s comprehensive Galaxy fleet renewal plan, a new generation of technology that will provide Intelsat Media customers in North America with high-performance media delivery capabilities and unparalleled headend penetration. cable networks,” Luxembourg-based Intelsat wrote in a statement. (opens in a new tab). “It is critical to Intelsat’s U.S. C-band compensation strategy.”

Saturday’s launch was the third for SpaceX in four days. On Wednesday, the company launched the Crew-5 astronaut mission for NASA along with a batch of 52 Starlink satellites.

Saturday’s flight was originally scheduled to launch Thursday evening (October 6), but the Falcon 9 launched an automatic abandon shortly (opens in a new tab) before scheduled takeoff. Abortion was caused by small helium leak, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter on Thursday (opens in a new tab). SpaceX then pushed the launch back to Saturday to perform additional vehicle checks.

Mike Wall is the author of “The low (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) Or on Facebook (opens in a new tab).

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