SpaceX' s reusable rocket launches a Qatar satellite

Flickr  spacex

Earlier, Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, announced the safe arrival of Es'hail-2 satellite at the SpaceX launch facility, in preparation for the launch.

The rocket and its payload hit a succession of milestones within minutes of takeoff, including first and second stage separation, as well as the release of the payload fairings. And they landed it again on the Of Course I Still Love You barge, floating out in the Atlantic.

The Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center after a trouble-free countdown.

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Falcon 9's first stage for the Es'hail-2 mission previously supported the Telstar 19 VANTAGE mission in July 2018. In keeping with SpaceX's reusability plan, the first stage had been flown before.

SpaceX did not attempt to recover the payload fairing - the protective nose cone that surrounds spacecraft during launch - today, because its net-equipped boat, Mr. Steven, is on the West Coast.

An artist's impression of the Es'hail 2 communications satellite in orbit.

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What is Falcon 9? Space analysts have mused that using refurbished rockets could lower this launch price by some $20 million - or more.

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. Es'hailSat, established in 2010 in Doha, owns and operates satellites to serve broadcasters, businesses and governments.

The Falcon 9 is SpaceX's reusable workhorse rocket; this was the company's 18th mission in 2018, tying its total from past year. During the booster's final moments of its return, the engined reignited to, allowing the four legs of the booster to be deployed at the base of the rocket.

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As its name implies, the satellite is the second Es'hail craft to launch, but it is the first dedicated exclusively to Qatari communications.

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