SpaceX’s rocket successfully launches SES-9 into orbit, but fails to Land on a droneship
After facing rocket launch delay four times, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has succeeded in blasting the SES-9 communications satellite into orbit on Friday. But the first stage of the rocket again failed to land on the company’s droneship in the ocean.
The rocket took off at 3:35 pm from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The latest try to launch the rocket was fifth of the space exploration company SpaceX. Before this, the company scrubbed the launch four times in the last week and a half.
Just three minutes after the liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first and second stages separated. The SES-9 communications satellite was carried by the second stage of the rocket. It was deployed 32 minutes after the launch.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, announced around 4:30 pm that the communications satellite’s target altitude of 40,600 kilometers has been achieved.
The SES-9 satellite has been deployed into orbit with an aim to get services like maritime connectivity and broadcasting. It will also provide high-speed broadband service to over 20 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. Satellite operator, SES, based in Luxembourg, owns the newly launched satellite.
After the successful separation of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first and second stages, the first-stage booster was planned to land softly on a SpaceX drone ship, called ‘Of Course I Still Love You’, in the Atlantic Ocean, but Musk tweeted that the rocket landed hard on the droneship.
SpaceX said before the liftoff that chances of a successful landing are very low due to fuel issue. First three scrubbed attempts were due to the fuel-related issues. The most recent delay came on Tuesday when the SpaceX decided to launch the satellite on Friday. “The delay was due to extreme high altitude wind shear”, said Musk.