After delay, SpaceX launches EchoStar satellite – but forgoes rocket landing

In the early hours of Thursday morning, SpaceX successfully launched a communications satellite for EchoStar.

Englewood, Colorado-based EchoStar Corp. will use EchoStar 23 to provide deliver direct-to-home television service to Brazil.

The rival venture, called United Launch Alliance, for more than a decade had enjoyed a monopoly boosting large military satellites into orbit before SpaceX entered the fray.

“Liftoff”, the corporation said on its Twitter account two days after the launch was aborted due to high winds. It edged out rival United Launch Alliance to win an Air Force contract, worth $96.5 million, for the launch of a Global Positioning System satellite in February 2019.

“This is the third satellite built for EchoStar by SSL to be placed on orbit since last June”.

SpaceX’s launch was the first of perhaps three from Cape Canaveral in a week, featuring each of the rockets that launch regularly from the Space Coast.

Launches of SpaceX have always had rocket landing post-takeoff. The rocket’s own weight was trimmed down to make way for its heavy payload by eliminating landing gears and reserve fuel for the trip back that took up space and weight during launches. The Falcon Heavy Rocket will have its debut this summer while the Falcon 9 will mostly fly by the year end. The reiteration of Falcon 9 will possibly be the final upgrade for the rocket.

The rocket blasted off from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A – the pad from which most of the Apollo missions launched – at 2 a.m.

SpaceX is aiming to lower the cost of access to space by retrieving and reusing its boosters. Space Exploration technologies Corp. -underbid an alliance of defense industry leaders to win its second launch contract from the US military in company history.

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