A pair of satellites is going up this morning on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9s. Will the rocket pull off a double-satellite launch and ocean landing as neatly as it pulled off its singles? Let’s watch and find out!
This particular Falcon 9 will be pulling double duty. It’s launching two separate communication satellites within 5 minutes of each other, first one from Eutelsat and then one from ABS.
The Falcon will be delivering those double satellites into a high, geostationary orbit. That means the rocket is coming back to the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship hot, fast, and with not a lot of extra fuel to spare. It’s also a new experimental orbit so—while SpaceX has had a pretty solid run of previous landings from geostationary orbits—success at this one is likely to be, by the company’s own admission, “difficult.”
SpaceX has been teasing that an upcoming launch will use one of those previous, successfully-landed Falcon 9's that are now piling up in their hangar. That milestone, however, isn’t coming today. Elon Musk has suggested instead that we could finally see a Falcon 9 re-launch sometime in September or October, but no firm date is set as of yet.
Watch along with us right here at 10:29 am EDT, when the Falcon 9 and its two satellites blast off. If all goes well, we should see used-rocket number 5 piling up in the SpaceX hangar shortly after.