SpaceX chalked up another successful satellite launch and booster landing today, putting Taiwan’s Formosat-5 Earth observation satellite into orbit in the process.
The company’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 11:51 a.m. PT from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at the opening of a 44-minute launch window.
Minutes later, the rocket’s second stage separated to send the 1,050-pound Formosat-5 satellite into a nearly pole-to-pole orbit for Taiwan’s National Space Organization.
The satellite, a successor to Formosat-2, is designed to send down high-resolution Earth imagery for five years. Formosat-5 also carries a plasma sensor that will monitor the effect of space weather on Earth’s ionosphere.