SpaceX to Launch Satellite with Pre-Flown Rocket Tonight

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SpaceX is, for the third time, depending on a used Falcon 9 rocket to carry out a launch mission. The satellite weighs approximately 5,200kg and will thus allow the reused Falcon 9 first stage to be recovered aboard the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite is scheduled to lift off from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 6:53 p.m. ET (2053 GMT) today.

The satellite launched on Wednesday will provide high-definition broadcasts to the USA and other parts of North America. "A successful landing of the first stage", SpaceX commentator John Innsbrucker said on the company's live webcast, as applause erupted at SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California.

The launch window opens at 6:53 PM EDT, or 3:53 PM PDT today, and it's a two-hour window. This will be the third occasion ever that Musk's company launches a "flight proven" booster, a term they use to refer to previously-flown components.

The satellite is called EchoStar 105/SES-11 and was built by Luxembourg-based operator Société Européenne des Satellites (SES).

If everything runs smoothly, the satellite will be deployed 36 minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX will launch a refurbished rocket from the Space Coast on Wednesday night if weather cooperates.

On that day, the first stage returned for a pinpoint landing at a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next door to KSC. The live stream is likely to start above around 15 minutes prior to the launch.