SpaceX racks up another rocket launch, its 16th this year

SpaceX racks up another rocket launch, its 16th this year

Keeping up a blistering launch pace, SpaceX fired off another Falcon 9 rocket Monday, boosting a powerful South Korean communications satellite into orbit in the rocket-builder's third flight this month and its 16th so far this year.

October 30 at 3:34 p.m. EDT, or 19:34 UTC and closes at 5:58 p.m. EDT, or 21:58 UTC.

The Falcon 9 shall send the 8000-pound communication satellite Koreasat-5A to an orbit 2,000 miles over the equator. "Koreasat-5A will provide direct-to-home broadcast, broadband, and back-haul services with its Ku-band capacity".

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SpaceX has been making contracted ISS resupply runs for NASA using Dragon and the Falcon 9 for five years.

KoreaSat 5A, operated by KT SAT, South Korea's sole satellite service provider is a replacement for Koreasat-5, which was launched in 2006. These dramatic events are part of the company's plan to develop completely reusable rockets and space vehicles, a breakthrough that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said will slash the cost of spaceflight.

The satellite is created to replace an earlier version, called Koreasat 5, which launched in 2006. Unlike other satellites in the Koreasat fleet, Koreasat-5A will provide maritime coverage of the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and East China Sea. The satellite will be deployed about 36 minutes after liftoff.

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KT Sat also signed a capacity lease with Mongolian broadcaster DDish TV for an eighth of the capacity on Koreasat-5A.

SpaceX's next flight is scheduled for November 15 with a mysterious payload named Zuma for the US government.

This image shows a fire in the engine area of the returning Falcon 9 booster after Monday's successful launch. The private space agency is set to double its launch numbers compared to previous year and it still has two months of 2017 to work with.

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Zuma's launch is now targeted for a two-hour window opening at 8 p.m. EST on November 15 (0100 GMT on November 16).

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