SpaceX launches third pre-flown rocket with EchoStar-SES satellite, lands booster

The rocket is expected to release a hybrid satellite called EchoStarr 105/SES-11, which will sit in an orbit 22,000 miles above Earth as its used by two companies, EchoStar and SES.

The Falcon 9's first stage which launched Wednesday had previously flown on a cargo mission to the International Space Station in February. About 8.5 minutes later, the first stage came back to Earth for a pinpoint landing on the robotic SpaceX ship named "Of Course I Still Love You", which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. And that did indeed happen; the Falcon 9's second stage deployed the satellite into its planned geostationary transfer orbit 36 minutes after liftoff. While the current version of Falcon 9 is less easily reused than it could be, precisely that issue will be dealt with through the introduction of Falcon 9 Block 5, which will feature an array of upgrades meant to ready the vehicle for crewed flights but also to drastically improve the ease of Falcon 9 reuse. Another launch helped loft the BulgariaSat-1 spacecraft on June 23.

After just three days from its last launch, SpaceX conducted another successful launch on October 11.

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Early Monday, a SpaceX Falcon soared from Southern California with Iridium satellites.

SpaceX will deliver a communications satellite created to broadcast television over the U.S. and parts of the Caribbean this evening. EchoStar 105/SES-11 replaces Ku-band capacity for AMC-15 and C-band capacity for AMC-18 at SES' well-established 105 degrees West orbital slot. The company has the option to renew annually after the the 10-year lease has elapsed.

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