SpaceX is attempting something absolutely insane over a span of just nine days, and they might just pull it off.
SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk is no stranger to pushing limits, but his company is really pushing the boundaries this week. The company is continuing its frenzied pace of blasting rockets into space with its third Falcon rocket launch in just nine days, as the company tries to catch up from a backlog that was created after an accident 10 months ago. This will be the 39th Falcon 9 rocket launch, which will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday evening.
The rocket will be putting a large communications satellite into orbit on behalf of Intelsat. The six-ton satellite will circles the Earth about 22,300 miles above Earth. Because of the huge payload, the booster won’t have enough fuel to attempt a return landing.
SpaceX has managed to land 13 of its first stage boosters without destroying, including two that have been launched and landed twice. SpaceX wanted to use a pre-flown rocket for the satellite, but Intelsat declined.
“Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit,” SpaceX says on its website. “As the first rocket completely developed in the 21st century, Falcon 9 was designed from the ground up for maximum reliability. Falcon 9’s simple two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events — and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown.”