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SpaceX Falcon 9 briefly incinerates itself after another successful mission

10:35, Tuesday, 31 October, 2017
SpaceX Falcon 9 briefly incinerates itself after another successful mission

Following the successful separation of Koreasat 5A from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 second stage, the rocket company has completed its 16th flawless mission of 2017. Several launches still remain in the 2017 manifest, leaving SpaceX with as many as 20 successful launches this year if all goes as planned, and this bodes well for SpaceX’s 2018 goal of 30 or more missions.Eric Ralph
     ByEric RalphPosted on October 30, 2017 REDDIT TWEET SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS
     SPACEX COMPLETES 16TH LAUNCH OF 2017, AIMS FOR AT LEAST 19 BEFORE YEAR’S END

Following the successful separation of Koreasat 5A from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 second stage, the rocket company has completed its 16th flawless mission of 2017. Several launches still remain in the 2017 manifest, leaving SpaceX with as many as 20 successful launches this year if all goes as planned, and this bodes well for SpaceX’s 2018 goal of 30 or more missions.

1042 at dawn (Tom Cross - Teslarati)Flag and Falcon (Tom Cross - teslarati)Teslarati and SpaceX (Tom Cross - Teslarati)

Currently coasting in a comfortable geostationary transfer orbit after a wild ride aboard Falcon 9, the launch of Koreasat 5A exemplifies SpaceX’s ever-maturing expertise and comfort with rapid and routine launches and booster recoveries. Falcon 9 is also clearly maturing as a launch system, and has not suffered launch scrubs since the launch of Intelsat 35e in early July. Following first stage separation, Falcon 9 1042 made its way back to Earth and landed aboard Of Course I Still Love You, stationed approximately 350 miles off the East coast of Florida. This marks the 19th successful landing of a Falcon 9 first stage.Despite suffering some apparently significant fire damage after the recovery of SES-11’s Falcon 9 earlier this month, OCISLY was repaired and sent back into action, performing admirably during its recovery of Koreasat 5A’s Falcon 9 core 1042. The booster may be less than thrilled, as it was captured on camera catching fire just after landing, potentially prematurely removing the possibility of future re-flights if the damage is too severe. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is effectively a controlled explosion powered by liquid oxidizer and refined kerosene, and boosters cant exactly be faulted for incinerating themselves and their surroundings every once and awhile, although SpaceX almost certainly strives to prevent major fires as much as possible.

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