SpaceX launches 16th Falcon 9 in 2017, recovers first stage

Darrell Etherington
SpaceX launches 16th Falcon 9 in 2017, recovers first stage

SpaceX just successfully launched its 16th Falcon 9 rocket this year, for client KT SAT, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission is to deliver the company's Koreasat-5A satellite, which will provide broadband communications services to KT SAT's customers.

As part of the launch, SpaceX also successfully recovered its Falcon 9 first stage, which landed aboard the drone spaceship 'Of Course I Still Love You,' floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The recovery is the 19th that SpaceX has managed, and it's been a long while since it's failed to do this, even with changes in how its rockets return to Earth. Nailing this aspect is key to its long-term strategy for reusable rockets and affordable spaceflight.

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