SpaceX launches 16th Falcon 9 in 2017, recovers first stage

SpaceX to Launch Korean Communications Satellite Today Watch It Live

NASA standards of risk acceptability are significantly more stringent than your average commercial satellite operator, however, and only after a lengthy review of SpaceX's refurbishing methods, and three successful launches with used rockets, has the national space agency approved the use of a flight-proven Falcon 9 for an ISS resupply mission.

As part of the launch, SpaceX also successfully recovered its Falcon 9 first stage, which landed aboard the drone spaceship 'Of Course I Still Love You, ' floating in the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 36 minutes after liftoff, the satellite will be deployed.

SpaceX's landing record now stands at 19 successes in 24 attempts, 12 on droneships and 7 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KoreaSat 5A is owned by the South Korean company KTSat. So while these Falcon 9 landings seem somewhat routine, they serve a much larger goal in the fabric of spaceflight today.

Northrop Grumman says it arranged for the payload to be launched by SpaceX on behalf of the government.

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The company plans at least three more launches this year, including a secret, presumably military mission next month, launch of a space station resupply mission in early December and the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy before the end of the year.

Unique to Koreasat-5A is an expanded maritime footprint over the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and East China Sea. According to NASASpaceflight.com, NASA has approved the use of a "flight-proven" Falcon 9 rocket for CRS-13, the 13th SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Designed for a 15-year mission, Koreasat 5A is based on Thales' Spacebus 4000B2 satellite bus and is destined to place Koreasat 5, a communications craft launched in 2006.

KT SAT aspires to be one of the leading satellite operators in the highly competitive Asian market. (3,700 kilograms) Koreasat-5A to provide direct-to-home broadcast and broadband services to customers in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, among other nations. KT Sat's total fleet consists of Koreasat-6, Koreasat-7, the ABS-2/Koreasat-8 condosat, Koreasat-5A, and, for as long as it lasts, Koreasat-5.

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