SpaceX One Launch Away From "Most Launches In A Year" Record

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

For the 18th time this year, SpaceX has successfully launched to space. On 19 November, SpaceX has scheduled another launch from Vandenberg military base in California.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thu., Nov. 15, 2018.

The Falcon family of rockets is slowly growing into the most successful reusable booster in history. The motor stage is mounted on the bolts, not welded to the structure.

The rocket's previously-flown first stage then successfully landed on an off-shore droneship for the company's 31st booster recovery.

SpaceX's Es'hail-2 mission will send a communications satellite 22,000 miles into space for state-owned Qatar Satellite Company, providing added communications access for large swaths of the Middle East and North African regions.

Es'hail-2 carries Ku-band capacity for television broadcasting and Ka-band capacity for connectivity to businesses and government users. This will mark the first ham radio relay in a high geostationary orbit, allowing for one-hop communication over a huge section of the globe.

To get there, the satellite's on-board propulsion system will be used to raise the low-point of the orbit and maneuver the spacecraft into the proper position to serve the Middle East. "Launching rockets in to space is an inherently risky business, but working with the extremely competent people at SpaceX, we are optimistic about the chances of a successful launch".

Plummeting back to Earth tail first, the rocket's four landing legs unfolded moments before a single engine re-started to slow the vehicle for landing. The company already has recovered rocket boosters several times, both on land and on drone ships at sea. The finely tuned Falcon 9 rocket has already been rolled out in the static fire test prior to setting it on the launch pad, attaching umbilical connections, aligning the vehicle, and lastly testing the vehicle condition.

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