SpaceX launches record-setting satellite with a block 5 Falcon 9

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 Launch Kicks Off a New Era in Reusability

While this is the first time this Falcon 9 asset hit the skies, SpaceX has recycled reusable rocket boosters on more than 20 occasions, with the team hoping recovered assets can each be used between 10 and 100 times. SpaceX launched the first block 5 rocket in May and will launch a third from California next week.

SpaceX has another block 5 Falcon 9 launched planned for Wednesday from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says block 5 boosters should be able to fly 50 to 60 times with minimal refurbishment between flights, a key element in the company's drive to lower launch costs and capture a larger share of the commercial launch market. The satellite will be owned and operated by Canadian satellite communications company Telesat.

The launch window for the Telstar 19 VANTAGE mission opens at 1:50 a.m.

Rapidly accelerating as it consumed its load of propellants and lost weight, the rocket arced away to the east over the Atlantic Ocean trailing a long jet of fiery exhaust visible for miles around.

This morning's liftoff was the first for this particular first stage, however.

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SpaceX's rocket landings are back and better than ever.

The upper stage continued into orbit, and deployed the Telstar 19 VANTAGE spacecraft around 33 minutes into the mission, notching SpaceX's 31st successful launch in a row.

The satellite lofted this morning, called Telstar 19V, is headed for geostationary orbit, about 22,250 miles (35,800 kilometers) above Earth.

Telesat is positioning Telesat-19 Vantage at 63 degrees West, the same orbital slot as its seven-year-old Ku-band Telstar-14R satellite. In-orbit testing will now commence before services kick-off in the summer, with a 15-year design life.

Telesat's next satellite, the Telstar-18/Apstar-5C satellite shared with APT Satellite of Hong Kong, is scheduled for a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral no earlier than August.

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