SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:27 a.m. EDT ( 0427 GMT) last Sunday with the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite.
Ten minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s first stage returned to Earth and landed vertically on SpaceX’s droneship, which was parked in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. The satellite was deployed to orbit about an hour and 50 minutes after launch as planned, SpaceX tweeted.
It was the third mission for SpaceX in just over 36 hours. Following back-to-back launches Friday and Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California with 53 more Starlink internet satellites and the German military’s SARah 1 radar reconnaissance satellite.
And SpaceX launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the 13th time (June 17 ), setting a new reuse record.
Such extensive reflight is a big priority for SpaceX and its founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Musk has repeatedly said that rapid and complete reuse is the key breakthrough that will allow humanity to settle Mars and achieve a variety of other ambitious spaceflight feats.
SpaceX plans two more Falcon 9 launches this month.
Another batch of Starlink internet satellites is scheduled to take off from the Kennedy Space Center Saturday, June 25. And a Falcon 9 rocket is being readied for launch June 28 from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral with the SES 22 television broadcasting satellite.