SpaceX has celebrated the 50th flight of its Falcon 9 rocket following the successful launch of a satellite on Monday evening.
The launch that accomplished the rocket’s half-century happened from the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
It consisted of the Falcon 9’s biggest ever payload, the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite, which is “nearly the size of a city bus”.
SpaceX creator and CEO Elon Musk stated it was the biggest geostationary satellite SpaceX had actually ever brought.
Geostationary satellites orbit the Earth at the very same speed that it turns on its axis, effectively remaining in a stationary position in the sky.
Communications satellites are typically put into geostationary orbits – around 37.5 km from the surface area of the Earth – and stay at a set position which satellite antennas can point at.
Mr Musk tweeted later on: “Very happy of the SpaceX group!”
” Can’t believe it’s been fifty Falcon 9 launches already. Simply 10 years earlier, we couldn’t even reach orbit with little Falcon 1.”
The Falcon 9’s very first flight remained in 2010, and as just recently as the 47th flight in January 2018 the rocket’s efforts were spoiled when the secret military satellite it was carrying was ruined when it cannot separate from the rocket.