Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket completes historic third launch and landing

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket completes historic third launch and landing

It was also the first time Musk's company will attempt to send one of its rocket boosters to space for a third time.

"Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Just Read the Instructions" drone ship, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean", SpaceX announced on its website.

SpaceX is postponing the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to Monday due to booster checks and weather concerns.

What exactly goes into the process of preparing Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters for reused launches is not entirely clear, but it can be said with some confidence that Block 5 (or SpaceX's comfort level) is not quite to the point that a booster has flown with literally zero significant refurbishment between launches.

The Hawk's Nest gates will open on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. PST and close at 10:15 a.m. PST. Falcon 9 and its crowded payload were supposed to take flight on November 19, but SpaceX delayed the SmallSat Express mission to conduct additional tests.

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A post on the official SpaceX Twitter account said the delay was necessary to "conduct additional inspections of the second stage".

The first stage engines shut down and fell away about two minutes and 24 seconds after liftoff. The 64 miniature satellites belong to companies, governments and research institutions in 17 different countries.

SpaceX's nineteenth mission of 2018 will be the launch of the Spaceflight Inc organized rideshare SSO-A, also known as SSO-A SmallSat Express to a Sun Synchronous orbit for as many as 35 customers. The current record is held by an Indian rocket that launched 104 small satellites earlier this year.

This will be the second largest rideshare mission ever and the largest for a single mission on USA soil.

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