SpaceX was successful today in their second attempt to launch GovSat-1 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. After a faulty sensor was replaced following yesterday’s scrub, the rocket’s nine engines were ignited at the beginning of an issue-free window this afternoon at 4:25 pm EST. The press viewed the launch from roughly three miles away at the ITL causeway on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The site provided a very clear and up-close view of the rocket as it began its journey towards space. At around 32 minutes after the time of liftoff, the GovSat-1 satellite, created by a joint-effort between SES and the Luxembourg government, was successfully deployed into orbit.
After the launch pad was cleared for safety, the press was allowed to return to check the results of their sound-triggered ‘remote’ cameras. Our camera was successfully activated by the deadly engine noise created by Falcon 9’s powerful Merlin engines. The camera captured the rocket ascending into the beautiful afternoon sunlight and leaving an intense cloud of smoke and dust behind. Huge thanks must be extended to the kind people at SpaceX media relations and the 45th Space Wing for making opportunities like this possible.
SpaceX’s main focus now lies on the demonstration flight of their new Falcon Heavy Rocket. The company plans to launch what will be the most powerful rocket currently operating in the world on February 6th.