A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, powered by a previously-flown booster, lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT) Thursday. The mission, which lofted the SES 10 communications satellite, marks the first time SpaceX has reused the first stage of one of its Falcon 9 launchers.
A Falcon 9 booster that flew into space last year is set to launch again Thursday from Florida’s Space Coast with an SES communications satellite on a historic mission that could make major strides in validating SpaceX’s audacious goal of recovering and reusing launchers, an achievement the company says will revolutionize the rocket business. Liftoff is set for 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT).
SpaceX’s first launch since August took off Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A Falcon 9 rocket deployed the first 10 next-generation Iridium communications satellites, part of a $3 billion upgrade to the company’s space network. Liftoff occurred at 9:54 a.m. PST (12:54 p.m. EST; 1754 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on a barge in the Pacific a few minutes later.