Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launching 50th Mission on Tuesday

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launching 50th Mission on Tuesday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket officially marked its 50 flight when it successfully launched the Spanish communication satellite into space from Cape Canaveral early on Tuesday.

The Falcon 9 is slated to take off in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, sometime during a two-hour window that begins at 12:33AM ET. It's the largest satellite SpaceX has ever delivered to geostationary orbit, with a total weight of six metric tons and a physical footprint almost the size of a city bus, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The total cost of a Falcon 9 launch is predicted to reach £44 million ($61m). The Falcon 9 has evolved considerably since its first test flights to become the only fully reusable launch platform in the world. At the moment Hispasat operates seven geostationary communications satellites.

SpaceX has 30 missions scheduled for 2018, nearly doubling the number from 18 in 2017.

Sarah Lewin, associate editor at, breaks down SpaceX's landmark 50th Falcon 9 launch.

The Hispasat 30W-6 will serve as a replacement for the Hispasat 30W-4, providing television, broadband, corporate networks and other telecommunications solutions.

The mission itself wasn't among the company's most spectacular: there was no dramatic landing of the first-stage booster or Roadster being launched toward Mars.

The rocket launched shortly after midnight from Cape Canaveral on the Space Coast. The satellite will remain in geostationary orbit and will take one day to complete an orbit.

SpaceX commonly lands Falcon 9 first stages during such missions, as part of the company's effort to develop fully and rapidly reusable launch systems.

The weather is 90 percent favorable for launch, according to the Air Force forecast.

In case you missed the live coverage of the launch, make sure to check out the webcast on SpaceX's site.

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