ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX launched a communications satellite built by Boeing on Monday evening from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The 7:10 p.m. EST liftoff featured a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 satellite, which will provide broadband connectivity to 25 nations across the Asia-Pacific region. The 15,000-pound satellite built in Boeing’s facility in California will produce, according to Kacific, the “most powerful signal level ever achieved in a commercial satellite in the region.”
The satellite will connect previously unserved or underserved areas with affordable, high-speed broadband, connectivity that is expected to stimulate economic growth in that region of the globe.
Elon Musk’s rocket company used a twice-flown booster for the mission, part of its goal toward rocket reusability.
The booster previously flew on the company’s 17th and 18th resupply missions to the International Space Station earlier this year.
About eight minutes after liftoff, the booster safely landed on the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, located about 350 nautical miles off the coast of Florida. It marked the 47th successful landing of a Falcon rocket.
SpaceX narrowly missed catching, however, the two halves of its fairing — the clam-like nose of the rocket that holds the satellite — on its recovery vessels Ms. Chief and Mrs. Tree near 8 p.m. The company is trying to regularly recover the parts for later reuse.
SpaceX said Monday night that its team was still working to recover the fairing halves for “potential use on a future flight.”