SpaceX successfully launches its 12th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017

SpaceX successfully launches its 12th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017

SpaceX successfully launches its 12th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017

The rocket took off from SpaceX's launch facility 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base as planned, carrying the NSPO's FORMOSAT-5 satellite to orbit, where it was deployed successfully.

Formosat-5 was originally contracted to launch aboard Falcon 1, SpaceX's first orbital launch vehicle.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 switched off its nine Merlin engines around two-and-a-half minutes into the mission, then detached 60 miles (100 kilometers) over the Pacific Ocean to begin a ballistic plummet toward a remotely-controlled floating barge. SpaceX, during the launch webcast, declared the launch a success.

It was a roundtrip today for SpaceX's Falcon 9.

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The satellite was constructed by the Taiwan National Space Organization. After a successful launch of the Taiwanese satellite the FORMOSAT-5 the Falcon-9 returned to the SpaceX droneship "Just Read the Instructions" located on the Pacific Ocean. Much smaller than Falcon 9, the original choice of launch vehicle made more sense given the satellite's small mass of approximately 500 kilograms.

The nation's next satellite, Formosat-7, is being inspected by NSPO members, who are confident about its launch next year, Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday before toasting with champagne. As of now, the company has already re-flown two of its used Falcon 9 boosters.

SpaceX has been working to ideal its system of recovering rockets for reuse in future missions, saving millions of dollars in costs. The booster landing activity is the part of SpaceX program to reuse the rockets which can launch multiple missions so that spaceflight cost can be reduced. Both SpaceX and Russian Federation have launched 11 successful orbital missions this year, followed by China with eight and European firms at six.

Vandenberg's next Falcon 9 rocket reportedly is targeting September 30, with another 10 Iridium Next communication satellites ready to head to space.

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