SpaceX has yet again nailed a droneship landing of one of its rockets in its 16th flight this year.
The spaceflight company’s Falcon 9, in a brand new Block 5 configuration, launched from Cape Canaveral in the early hours of Monday morning carrying Canadian satellite Telstar 18 Vantage to orbit.
Launch was delayed due to rain and heavy clouds, with liftoff finally taking place at 12:45 a.m. EDT.
Just over eight minutes later from liftoff, the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You,” which is stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean.
Unfortunately for us mere mortals watching it unfold at home, the video feed onboard the first stage cut out just as it landed. It’s about 30 minutes into the video above.
Approximately 30 minutes after liftoff, the Telstar 18 Vantage satellite was deployed into orbit.
The Telstar 18 Vantage is a hefty 15,564 pounds (7,060 kilograms), making it just slightly lighter than the Telstar 19V that was launched back in July, which was the heaviest communications satellite ever launched.
SpaceX’s upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 will help the company achieve its goal of vastly cheaper spaceflight, in which it aims to fly the boosters up to 10 times with little maintenance, and 100 with refurbishment.