SpaceX Puts Another Payload Into Space
- Author: Eleanor Harrison May 16, 2017,
May 16, 2017, 7:17
Inmarsat-5 F4 is the fourth and final of Inmarsat's Global Xpress network satellites, which are providing internet access for radio stations, airplanes, and ships around the world.
So far, 10 Falcon 9 first stages have returned intact after launching, including one rocket that has now flown twice. The rocket's launch follows the critical static hot-fire test that was successfully completed last May 11.
The Orlando Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2rhP2c8) reports that SpaceX will not try to land and recover the spent booster after it delivers its payload because its weight, 13,000 pounds, requires far too much fuel and would make a landing attempt too hard. Due to the weight, the Falcon 9 will not have enough fuel to attempt a landing. When the third satellite was launched in 2015, Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said his company was switching to SpaceX because of the "unacceptably high failure rate" of Russia's Proton rockets. Prior to the accident, SpaceX had made eight flights of the Falcon 9 rocket, a cadence of one launch per month.
However, today's launch is still significant for SpaceX, since it marks the company's first mission for Inmarsat.
Inmarsat-5 F4 launch. If the upcoming event is successful, SpaceX can make a recovery in the eyes of its critics. The 7th launch will happen 2 weeks from now at the beginning on June. According to Universe Today, SpaceX is targeting for launch at twilight which will provide a rare sky show for those within the area.
A successful mission tonight by SpaceX would allow the company to demonstrate that it is making good progress toward its long-promised goal of flying the Falcon 9 frequently and working through a backlog of about 70 missions.
The 23-story-tall booster soared off its seaside launch pad, which once hosted NASA's space shuttles and Apollo moon rockets, at 7:21 p.m. EDT (2321 GMT).