Watch live: SpaceX seeks to validate “flight proven” rockets

Watch live: SpaceX seeks to validate “flight proven” rockets

Enlarge / The Falcon 9 first stage being used Wednesday first flew in February, 2017, on the CRS-10 space station supply mission. (credit: SpaceX)

Fresh off a successful launch on Monday from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, SpaceX will go for a second mission in three days on Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. With a two-hour launch window that opens at 6:53pm ET, SpaceX will attempt to launch the EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. Weather conditions in Florida look fine this evening

The highlight of Wednesday’s mission is the company’s re-use of a previously flown first stage booster. This rocket first flew in February, when it launched a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station and subsequently returned to a landing zone along the Florida coast.

This is only the third time SpaceX has launched what it terms a “flight proven” booster. Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES has been one of SpaceX’s most faithful customers, having previously employed a used booster. SES has repeatedly demonstrated confidence in the rocket company’s ability to make reusable launch technology safe. And with three successful reuse flights, it will probably become easier for SpaceX to find customers for future “flight proven” rockets.

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