SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 Rocket #Spaceflight SSO-A @1:32pm EST

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It will begin streaming on Monday, at 1:17 p.m. EST, which is 15 minutes before Falcon 9 will embark on its space journey.

Before landing, however, the booster helped deliver 64 small satellites to orbit for a variety of companies.

This particular mission also pushed an unprecedented number of small satellites to space for a US-based rocket. No SpaceX rocket has ever flown more than twice.

"With its mission complete Monday, the first-stage booster returned to the drone ship, 'Just Read the Instructions", positioned southwest of Vandenberg.

As with previous SpaceX launches from Vandenberg, the rocket created an impressive aerial light show over Southern California.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says the new "block 5" stages are designed fly dozens of times with minimal refurbishment between launchings, a key element in the company's drive to lower launch costs by recovering and re-flying the Falcon 9's first stage.




The company has tried on several occasions to guide the fairing, using parachutes, to a soft landing into a giant net hoisted up by a crew boat called Mr. Steven. Finally, and in another precedent, this same booster has now launched from all three of SpaceX's launch pads: Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40, and now the Launch complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, as reported by Florida Today.

The launch is the largest single rideshare mission from a USA -based launch vehicle - carrying spacecraft for 34 organizations from 17 countries - but is not the first, nor the largest launch of smallsats on a single mission.

Some of the satellites are aiming to build an internet network that could support smart devices. From a reusability perspective, this Falcon 9 booster isn't ready to retire yet.

About half an hour after launch, SpaceX confirmed that four satellites were deployed from the payload stack.

Organized by Spaceflight Industries, the satellites aboard the rocket would come from 34 organizations and be released into a "sun-synchronous low Earth orbit". One sponsored a balloon that will inflate in orbit and be visible from the ground.

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