SpaceX postpones rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

SpaceX postpones rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

SpaceX postpones rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

A Falcon 9 launches to orbit for an unprecedented third time.

The rocket in Monday's launch was previously used for satellite launches in May and August of this year.

The upper stage of the Falcon 9 is set to deploy a total of 64 cubesats and smallsats representing 34 different organizations and 17 countries. SpaceX's Twitter account will share live updates of the mission as well.

The mission illustrated the growing demand to launch small satellites, modern devices that some companies hope will empower an array of new businesses - from internet service to supply chain monitoring.

The same booster was used in the first Block 5 launch (the final version of the Falcon 9 created to fly up to 100 times) in May and then again in August.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 exclusively dedicated to small satellites launched December 3, at 1:34 p.m.

On Monday, SpaceX, the private spaceflight company founded by Elon Musk, launched and landed one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the third time, marking the first time in SpaceX's history that they've managed to fly the same rocket booster on three separate missions.

Going into Monday's flight, SpaceX's record stood at 19 successful drone ship recoveries, 11 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and one at Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles.

It marked one of the largest satellite ride-sharing missions ever launched and the most crowded single mission in United States history, according to Spaceflight, SpaceX's customer for the launch. It has often re-used the first stages of Falcon 9 rockets, but Monday's launch was the first time the same rocket was used a third time.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the aerospace company is aiming for a 24-hour turnaround in 2019.

Some of those smaller satellites aim to build an internet network capable of supporting smart devices back on Earth's surface. From a reusability perspective, this Falcon 9 booster isn't ready to retire yet.

One such company, US-based Rocket Lab, became the first to reach orbit, and has notched two missions so far.

Satellite deployment was expected in a series of six releases from 13 to 43 minutes after liftoff.

Related news