SpaceX completed another launch today with the deployment of the Formosat 5 satellite following an on-time launch from Vandenburg.
Following separation of the first stage, the booster returned to land on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship “Just Read the Instructions” in the Pacific ocean.
This was the 12th launch for SpaceX this year and 9th landing. With this launch, SpaceX still has more launches than any other country so far in 2017.
In the second launch in two days SpaceX successfully deployed ten more Iridium® NEXT satellites. The Falcon 9 booster lifted off from Vandenberg, CA carrying the ten satellites at 4:25 PM EDT and 57 minutes later started deploying the individual satellites.
The first stage landed back on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship “Just Read The Instructions”, which as Elon Musk tweeted earlier had to be repositioned.
This was the first Falcon 9 launch that used a newer design for the grid fins and according to another tweet from Elon performed better than expected.
This was the ninth launch this year and seventh landing, making this the most launches in a single year for SpaceX.