Reclaiming space – one Rocket at a time

– SpaceX mounts a streak of 3 launches across 2 weeks

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has gained a cult following as the company continues to go toe-to-toe with the space tech giant NASA. The company’s vigor seems to be bolstering further as ambitious projects such as reusable rocket launches not only surpass the experimental/prototype stage but instead become staple and sustainable endeavors.

This summer SpaceX went forward to launch another of the company’s custom engineered Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The vehicle’s mission is to launch a communication satellite into geostationary orbit.

The probe to be launched is Intelsat’s 35e which weighs around 6000kgs which would make it one of SpaxeX’s heaviest launches so far. It will also be one of the most strenuous as the satellite will reach up to geostationary orbit which would amount to a journey totaling 35,000. The high amount of propellant required means that a very large amount of propellant will be used, making SpaceX’s famed recovery system obsolete.

One topic of rocket recoveries, SpaceX’s pioneered recovery system has seen unprecedented success this year. Out of 9 of its missions in 2017, it has attempted to recover the rocket 7 times and succeeded on every single occasion. This would total to 13 recovery landings all which have occurred either on the ground based landing zone in Florida or one of the company’s two ocean bound drone ships.

This mission would mark SpaceX’s third launch in 2 weeks, which would place it ahead of almost every single commercial spaceflight company currently operating with SpaceX having performed 10 missions with half a year still to go. This would also be a massive step up from the company’s 8 launches in the previous year.

Despite some delays in launch schedules, such as the current mission which was actually due to launch on the 2nd of July from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the company is in full swing after Elon Musk tweeted that the launch would receive a full review and be initiated by July 5th or 6th at the earliest. Currently, as SpaceX has now shifted from recovering used rockets to recovering brand new Falcon 9 rockets on 2 separate occasions, this launch is something of an anomaly for the company as it expands further toward reducing long term costs associated with space travel through reuse of its rocket systems.

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