Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket puts Spanish satellite into orbit

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket puts Spanish satellite into orbit

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off early Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Four days later, the Dragon cargo ship will launch from Cape Canaveral with the aim to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

This week's launch is slated for March 6th with the launch window opening at 12:33am EST, and if successful it will carry a communications satellite into orbit that will serve portions of "Europe, North Africa, and the Americas", according to Spaceflight Now.

When it first launched in 2010, the Falcon 9 was just another expendable rocket like the popular Atlas V. However, SpaceX designed the Falcon 9 to be an upgradable launch platform.

This launch marks the 50th launch of Falcon 9 and the 56th SpaceX launch in total. After the launch this week, the Elon Musk-led company has now successfully launched the Falcon 9 rocket 50 times. In that duration, the Falcon 9 placed the Spanish satellite in GTO at an altitude of around 37,000 km above the Earth.

The launch had been previously delayed and ran over a week late. However, a planned landing of the rocket's first stage did not take place as hoped because of bad weather at the floating landing site.

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Tuesday's launch was delayed from February 25 for tests of the pressurization system in the Falcon 9 rocket's nose cone, which worked as planned during the launch.

The satellite is created to provide broadband data services and television programming for Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Americas, from an altitude of more than 22,000 miles. This is also likely to be followed by another Falcon 9 launch in early to mid-April carrying Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

That's up from 18 missions in 2017.

At the time of writing, SpaceX confirmed the "deployment of Hispasat 30W-6 to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO)". However, SpaceX was forced to scrap that launch attempt to do extra testing on the rocket's nose cone, or payload fairing.

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