Private spacecraft producer SpaceX successfully launched and landed a recycled Falcon 9 rocket, the second time the company was able to pull off the feat.
The craft launched on Friday afternoon from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, located near Cape Canaveral, Florida, and brought a geostationary communications satellite, called the BulgariaSat-1, into orbit.
Friday’s launch marks another successful attempt to retrieve a used rocket for recycling, whereas in typical NASA launches the rocket stages have to be recovered from the sea after they fall back to Earth. The first successful launch occurred in March.
After the rocket stage returns to Earth’s atmosphere, SpaceX lands the object on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
In January, the same Falcon 9 rocket was used to put 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium, a communications company.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 and now has over 4,000 employees working on its projects. It was the first private company to visit the International Space Station, delivering and returning cargo to and from the station for NASA in 2012.
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