SpaceX Scores Successful Near-Sunset Launch

posted by Alan McBride - 

Another success for private rocket maker SpaceX.

The company helmed by Elon Musk sent a communications satellite into Earth orbit Wednesday night, using a Falcon 9 booster that had previously flown in February, on a resupply flight to the International Space Station.

SpaceX was able to successfully land the booster after this launch, as well, setting it down on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was keeping station off the Florida coast.

The ability to land and re-fly these boosters is part of the SpaceX business model.

Re-using the hardware cuts down the cost of getting payloads to orbit by saving on the cost of building new boosters for every launch.

Eventually it will bring down costs by shortening the "turn-around" time between launches.

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