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SpaceX to launch recycled rocket

By Agence France-presse | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-31 07:55

MIAMI - SpaceX is poised to launch its first recycled rocket on Thursday, using a booster that sent food and supplies to the astronauts living at the International Space Station in April.

The goal of the launch, scheduled for 6:27 pm from Cape Canaveral, Florida, is to send a communications satellite for Luxembourg-based company SES into a distant orbit.

Standing tall at the NASA launchpad, the white Falcon 9 rocket contains a tall, column-like portion known as the first stage, or booster, that propelled the unmanned Dragon cargo ship to space last year, then returned to an upright landing on an ocean platform.

SpaceX, the California-based company headed by internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, has for years been honing the technology of powering its boosters back to careful Earth landings on solid ground and in the water.

SpaceX officials have said that reusing hardware could slash costs - with each Falcon 9 launch costing more than $61 million - by about 30 percent.

The SES-10 satellite will be sent to a geostationary orbit, flying as high as 35,000 kilometers above the Earth before maneuvering into its designated orbit.

The satellite aims to expand television, internet and mobile connections across Latin America.

(China Daily 03/31/2017 page11)

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