SpaceX launches satellite, then lands rocket

Image: SpaceX rocket landing

A webcast view shows SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on the oceangoing drone ship known as “Of Course I Still Love You.” (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched a satellite for a Japanese communication company tonight, and then made a bull’s-eye landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

The two-stage Falcon 9 carried the JCSAT-16 satellite into the night sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:26 a.m. ET Sunday (10:26 p.m. PT Saturday).

After stage separation, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster relit its engines and went through a series of maneuvers to land on an oceangoing platform christened “Of Course I Still Love You.”

SpaceX’s webcast missed the precise moment of touchdown but showed the booster standing upright on the deck of the drone ship moments afterward – almost exactly on top of the stylized “X” that served as a target.

A little more than a half-hour after launch, SpaceX announced that JCSAT-16 had been deployed into its intended geostationary transfer orbit, reaching a high point of 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers).

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s