Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

SpaceX launches second satellite in just 14 days

SpaceX launches second satellite in just 14 days

The satellite was originally planned to launch April 30 on a Falcon Heavy rocket.

SpaceX is poised to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this evening, targeting liftoff at 7:21 p.m. EDT with a 49 minute launch window. SpaceX's heavy-lift launcher could debut later this year, but for schedule reasons the mission was switched to the latest version of the Falcon 9. Monday's flight was the second this year in which a landing was ruled out by the weight and orbital requirements of the satellite payload.

The payload weighed some 6,100 kilograms, and the force needed to propel it to orbit would not leave enough fuel for the rocket to maneuver back to Earth.

This is the fourth satellite to compliment Global Xpress' broadband constellation of I-5 satellites that operate in Ka-band to allow aviation, maritime, enterprise and government sector customers to have reliable and assured access to high-throughput communications.

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A successful mission tonight by SpaceX would allow the company to demonstrate that it is making good progress toward its long-promised goal of flying the Falcon 9 frequently and working through a backlog of about 70 missions. The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite was launched at 7.21 PM (2321 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"Satellite deployment success!" Inmarsat announced. Considering the explosions from their 2015 and 2016 launches, the rocket company can not guarantee success for now. The rocket in question was carrying a heavy payload in form of a satellite from Inmarsat. With the satellite launching into space, in-flight internet would be significantly improved. The weather also looks like it won't be interfering with the much-anticipated launch of Falcon 9.

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