SpaceX launched a teleportation satellite into orbit early Saturday morning (May 27), bringing the company closer to 200 successful landings of its first-stage rocket.
A Falcon 9 rocket with the Arabsat Badr-8 satellite lifted off from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday morning (May 27) at 12:30 a.m. ET (0430 GMT). The first stage of the rocket landed on a SpaceX drone, just read the instructions Eight minutes and 46 seconds later.
SpaceX’s Veronica Fuhrman said during the live launch broadcast that tonight’s mission marks SpaceX’s 195th successful landing overall between both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
Related: 8 ways SpaceX has transformed spaceflight
Bad weather forced SpaceX to push back two previous attempts at this mission earlier this week. Conditions were more favorable tonight, resulting in a successful nighttime launch through the damp skies of Florida’s Space Coast.
This was the 14th such first-stage Falcon 9 mission, according to A SpaceX mission description. Among those previous flights were two of the astronaut’s private missions, Inspiration4 in September 2021 and Ax-1 in April 2022.
Ax-1, which was operated by Houston-based Axiom Space, sent four people to the International Space Station for about two weeks. SpaceX just launched its second Axiom mission, Ax-2, sending its four crew members toward the orbiting lab atop Falcon 9 on Sunday (May 22).
Fourteen flights is not a SpaceX reuse record, by the way. The current mark is 15, set last December on a mission that lifted a large group of the company’s Starlink internet satellites.
The Arabsat Badr-8 weighs approximately 9,900 lb (4,500 kg), According to EverydayAstronaut.com. The satellite is heading into a geostationary orbit, about 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) above Earth.
It will take four to five months for the satellite to reach operational orbit. Once there and fully vetted, EverydayAstronaut.com wrote, the BADR-8 will stream broadcast TV and other communications services to Central Africa, Europe and the Middle East for Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:30 a.m. EST May 24 with news of the failed May 23 attempt.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble coffee enthusiast. Future teen idol. Tv nerd. Explorer. Organizer. Twitter aficionado. Evil music fanatic.”