SpaceX Satellite Launch of EchoStar XXII enters the Orbit Successfully

SpaceX Satellite Launch of EchoStar XXII enters the Orbit Successfully

SpaceX Satellite Launch of EchoStar XXII enters the Orbit Successfully

WASHINGTON-SpaceX on Thursday successfully launched a communications satellite into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 39A is the same launchpad from which space flights took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s.

Unlike recent SpaceX flights, there were no landing legs or steering fins on the Falcon 9's first stage.

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Englewood, Colorado-based EchoStar Corp. will use EchoStar 23 to provide deliver direct-to-home television service to Brazil. This will be the first time the company will employ a reused Falcon rocket recovered from a previous launch. The doomed Falcon 9 was one of SpaceX's final expendable rockets. The ULA argues that contract prices should account for reliability, a dig at SpaceX's recent problem with explosions - but even then, the SpaceX's rockets don't explode half the time. The rocket will bring an EchoStar XXIII communications satellite into the geostationary transfer orbit. The Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 Block 5 should both launch at some point later this year. That vehicle is essentially 3 Falcon 9 boosters strapped together and according to Musk, it will be the most powerful rocket in operation by "a factor of two".

Florida has been launching rockets for decades and, after a five-year lull following the shuttle program's deactivation, it has been the location for increased activity as SpaceX and United Launch Alliance have jumped into what has been called a new space race. These missions would also be able to fly an upgraded version of Falcon 9.

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It's the second contract SpaceX has landed with the U.S. Air Force, with the last being in April.

Elon Musk started SpaceX in 2002 with the vision of making space travel cheaper and sustainable. SpaceX's architecture for building the first human city on Mars, rests heavily on the company's ability to flawless the "flight-proven" rocket.

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With the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract to resupply the International Space Station and a second pact valued at as much as $2.6 billion to transport crews to the orbiting lab.

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