SpaceX, Elon Musk make more history with 50th Falcon 9 launch

Posted March 07, 2018

While the launch window opens at 12:33 a.m., it stays open for two hours, and the company will have that entire window to decide whether or not to launch. Tonight, the company is tasked with sending up a hefty communications satellite for operator Hispasat, called Hispasat 30W-6.

Following the test phase, the satellite will assume its final orbital position, 30 degrees West, and replace Hispasat 30W-4, in orbit since September 2002. On Tuesday, the company is scheduled to perform yet another high-profile launch.

Hispasat leases transponders on the board of three third-party satellites, Intelsat 34, Star One C4 and Star One D1, as well.

SpaceX rescheduled today's mission from February 24 to correct a problem with the Falcon 9's fairing pressurization system.

SpaceX commonly lands Falcon 9 first stages during such missions, as part of the company's effort to develop fully and rapidly reusable launch systems.

The satellite aims to expand television, broadband and telecommunications service in Europe and Northwest Africa.

Ousted Pakistan PM's brother becomes party leader, now closer to power
The party will also hold another meeting on March 6 for intraparty elections to elect Shahbaz Sharif as the permanent president. The Central Working Committee of the PML-N met in Lahore to elect Shehbaz Sharif as party's acting president.

An artist's impression of the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite with its antennas and solar panels deployed. It is anticipated to have a useful life of at least 15 years and weighs 6,092 kilograms (13,430 lb).

"At six metric tonnes and nearly the size of a city bus, it will be the largest geostationary satellite we've ever flown", SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said on Twitter.

Sarah Lewin, associate editor at, breaks down SpaceX's landmark 50th Falcon 9 launch.

During the Falcon Heavy launch, one of the landing pod drones, Of Course I Still Love You, which was scheduled to land the third booster was reported to have sustained damages during the unsuccessful landing attempt. These include about six Falcon 9 missions planned for the next two months, starting with a March 29 flight with voice and data relay satellites, and a resupply flight to the International Space Station in early April.

The larger Falcon Heavy flights cost about £65 million ($90m) each.