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SpaceX Launch Schedule 2017: What Next For Elon Musk Company

18 March 2017

This also comes mere days after SpaceX successfully launched a communications Falcon 9 satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket deployed the EchoStar 23 - a commercial communications satellite for EchoStar Corporation - to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The liftoff was postponed by heavy winds Tuesday. Elon Musk's SpaceX spoiled that party previous year when it won its first US Air Force contract, but the ULA didn't bid on that contract.

"The competitive award of the GPS III Launch Services contract to SpaceX directly supports SMC's mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation".

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The demands of lofting the 6-ton EchoStar 23 spacecraft left the rocket's first stage without reserve fuel to attempt a powered descent back through the atmosphere and landing. The doomed Falcon 9 was one of SpaceX's final expendable rockets. At 12,300 pounds, the satellite was too heavy a load for the rocket to execute both a take-off and a controlled landing. The launch eventually took place on Thursday shortly after 2 a.m. EDT.

The Falcon 9 missile is a rocket manufactured and assembled by SpaceX.

Putting on a spectacular nighttime show, the Falcon 9 smoothly accelerated as it arced to the East over the Atlantic Ocean trailing a long jet of brilliant exhaust visible for miles around. SpaceX has endured two costly disasters in the past two years.

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In the near future, SpaceX would depend on LC39A for all its launches that happen in Florida as the company's pad at the Cape Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is still out of order.

The launch into a cloudless sky was SpaceX's second from historic pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, a former launch site for Saturn V moon rockets and space shuttles. And soon after, the company will launch its first-ever payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

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SpaceX Launch Schedule 2017: What Next For Elon Musk Company