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Falcon 9 rocket delivers eleven satellites to orbit and returns to earth

22 December 2015

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has delivered eleven satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, and succeeded in landing a first stage back on the ground.

The Falcon 9 rocket takes off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (photo: SpaceX)

The ORBCOMM payload was launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 11 satellites were all successfully deployed deployed some 20 minutes after liftoff, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM, a global provider of machine-to-machine communication and Internet of Things technology. The Falcon-9 rocket then landed vertically, about 10km from the Cape Canaveral launch pad.

Last month, Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission, soaring to 329,839 feet (somewhat less than the Falcon 9 ORBCOMM-2 mission) and then returning to make a controlled landing just four and a half feet from the centre of its launch pad.

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