SpaceX delays rocket launch from Vandenberg

SpaceX delays rocket launch from Vandenberg

In the first of two rocket launches planned this week from Vandenberg, the Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 10:34 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base. Eastern, carrying 64 satellites to low Earth orbit.

It marked one of the largest satellite ride-sharing missions ever launched and the most crowded single mission in U.S. history, according to Spaceflight, SpaceX's customer for the launch.

Despite some hiccups, the third Falcon 9 trip is a major milestone for SpaceX.

Following separation, SpaceX will attempt to land the rocket's first stage on a droneship stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

This mission also marks a first for SpaceX: It's the first time the company has sent the same first-stage booster into space three times.

A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday, carrying a 64-satellite payload.

For SpaceX, the mission, called SSO-A, marked its 19th launch of 2018, surpassing its previous annual record of 18 launches past year.




With SpaceX taking responsibility for the launch of the Falcon 9, Spaceflight Industries handled "all the mission management planning, engineering, integration, mission assurance and system engineering processes, regulatory and policy procedures, contracting, and business development for the mission", the company said in a statement.

The team will try to work toward readying the rocket for the backup launch opportunity on Monday morning.

"Falcon fairing halves missed the net, but touched down softly in the water", Musk, SpaceX's chief executive officer, said on Twitter.

This mission for Spaceflight, known as "SSO-A: The SmallSat Express", broke SpaceX's record of 18 launches in a calendar year - a record set just last year.

SSO-A was the first mission Spaceflight has filled a rocket entirely with its small satellite customers. The devices, which span a variety of shapes and sizes, rode to space affixed to sides of a large structure, called a payload stack, that was shielded by the Falcon 9's fairing during launch.

Organized by Spaceflight Industries, the satellites aboard the rocket would come from 34 organizations and be released into a "sun-synchronous low Earth orbit".

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