A SpaceX Falcon 9 was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday with Anasis-II, a South Korean military satellite. Launches of the workhorse’s rocket amplifiers become quite routine, but this one was remarkable for two reasons: it was the fastest turnaround time for rocket reuse and both sliding halves were captured for the first time.
You can see a replay of the broadcast below:
The Anasis II launch was SpaceX’s 12th launch this year, the 90th flight of a Falcon 9 and the second overall for this particular booster. The booster was not flown until May– the first time a commercial company has done so. Ergo, it has little history.
It also means that SpaceX broke its own record for rocket reusability. This is the fastest turnaround between missions for a Falcon 9 rocket launcher, where the Anasis II booster had flown only 51 days ago.
In addition, SpaceX had long tried to catch both sliding halves – the pieces that make up the Falcon 9 nose cone – before landing in the sea. Two ships, Ms. Tree and Ms Chief, stationed in the Atlantic and adorned with huge nets, have tried catches with varying degrees of success. But the Anasis II mission marks the first time both brass halves were captured.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, tweeted the news on Monday.
The payload, Anasis-II, is South Korea’s first military communications satellite. Due to its military use, there is not much information about it, except that it is based on the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus, according to Everyday Astronaut.