SpaceX Will Launch and Land a Rocket Today

Vandenberg AFB set to launch satellite aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

The Falcon 9's mission-launch FORMOSAT-5 satellite into space.

Thursday's Falcon 9 booster is the 15th successful rocket landing performed by the company since SpaceX stuck its first landing in 2015. After lift off, the team landed the rocket's first stage on a drone ship near the base in the Pacific Ocean.

In Los Angeles, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Su Fong-chin (蘇芳慶) address a party celebrating the launch, saying that success does not come easy in space.

It was a roundtrip today for SpaceX's Falcon 9.

The landing of the Falcon 9 first stage aboard the drone ship Just Read the Instructions was the latest in a string of successful recoveries at sea or on shore by SpaceX, which sees reusability of major rocket components as key to driving down launch costs.

Formosat 2 was retired previous year, well after Formosat 5 was originally scheduled for launch.

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SpaceX has been working to flawless its system of recovering rockets for reuse in future missions, saving millions of dollars in costs. As of now, the company has already re-flown two of its used Falcon 9 boosters.

The satellite is equipped with multiple cameras, along with an Advanced Ionospheric Probe developed by Taiwan's National Central University.

SpaceX's only other West-coast missions, seven contracted launches of Iridium's NEXT constellation, are understood to be too heavy to provide the fuel margins necessary for Falcon 9 to return to the launch site for a landing. 11 minutes 19 seconds after launch, FORMOSAT-5 was deployed into mission orbit.

Moments before the first-stage touchdown the video link to the vessel froze, then reappeared and showed the rocket standing.

The launch window begins Thursday, August 24, at 11:51 a.m. PST and lasts for approximately 40 minutes, allowing for flexibility in the event of a simple scrub or abort.

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