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a booster flies for the third time during a free launch for Spacecom

For its tenth mission of the year, SpaceX took off a Falcon 9 rocket from launch pad 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The takeoff took place Tuesday at 19:23 local time (Wednesday at 01:23, Paris time).

Nearly half an hour after take-off, an Amos-17 stallite weighing 6.5 tonnes was placed in a geostationary transfer orbit.

Amos-17 is a communications satellite operated by the Israeli company Spacecom. It will notably serve coverage of television, Internet and cellular services in Africa via the Ka, Ku and C bands. Spacecom also specifies coverage for the Middle East and Europe.

For this satellite, Spacecom benefited from a free launch in compensation for the loss of the Amos-6 satellite in September 2016. The latter had been destroyed during a static ignition test of the engines of a Falcon 9 rocket, two days before the launch date.

As part of the Amos-17 mission, SpaceX used a Falcon 9 rocket first stage that had already flown in two previous missions in July 2018 and November 2018.

This is the fourth time that SpaceX has flown the same floor three times. Due to mission requirements, this time there was no attempt to recover the booster.

SpaceX has however recovered the cap of the rocket (half-cap) by capturing it in the giant net of a ship. It's only the second time this type of recovery has been successful.


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