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SpaceX Sticks Sea Landing, Sends Japanese Satellite To Orbit

SpaceX launches a Japanese communcation satellite from Cape Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched a Japanese communications satellite to orbit early Sunday morning.

The private space company launched a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral early Sunday morning, sending the satellite to a high, geostationary transfer orbit — that’s an orbit that allows the satellite to remain focused on one spot back on Earth.

After sending the satellite on its way, SpaceX landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at sea on a drone ship called “Of Course I Still Love You.”

Last month, SpaceX recovered a booster at a landing facility at Cape Canaveral.

The private space company hopes to reuse the boosters and lower the cost of sending payloads to space. Although the company has yet to launch a reused booster, it’s testing a recovered first stage at a facility in Texas with the hopes of launching one later this year.


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »