SpaceX Launches Luxembourg Satellite, Russia Orbits Earth Observation Spacecraft

Falcon 9 first stage floating in the Atlantic Ocean. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX successfully launched the GovSat-1 satellite for Luxembourg on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft will provide secure military communications for the Luxembourg government.

SpaceX did not plan to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster. However, it looks like the company will be able to do that after all.

“This rocket was meant to test very high retrothrust landing in water so it didn’t hurt the droneship, but amazingly it has survived. We will try to tow it back to shore,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote in a tweet that included a picture of the booster floating in the ocean..

About five hours later, Russia opened its 2018 launch campaign with a successful flight of a Soyuz booster from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The rocket orbited the Kanopus-V 3 and 4 Earth observation satellites that will be used for mapping, disaster response and forest fire detection.

  • therealdmt

    The opposite of RUD is DUR. Delightful Unscheduled Recovery

    (A guy named Greyhaven7 posting elsewhere came up with that)

  • SamuelRoman13

    Musk finally got his It will float like a soda can. He says he will try to tow it back like they did the Shuttle SRB.

  • nathankoren

    Sheesh, can’t SpaceX get *anything* right? This has gotta be the first time that anyone has failed to expend a supposed-to-be-expended booster. I mean really, how hard can it be???


  • ThomasLMatula

    I guess they build them too well.

  • Paul_Scutts

    I wonder how much all the material contained within the booster is worth for SpaceX to recycle? Quite a few dollars, I should imagine, so they should make a tidy profit. Looks like the Gods are smiling upon SpaceX … Mr. Church will be most pleased. 🙂

  • JS Initials

    I wonder if he’ll go one step further, if it is shown that the recover booster can be adequately restored; will he carry out a ‘test’ SF with it?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    NICE! They must have vented the LOX in the last seconds. Can’t wait to learn how they controlled the pitch over. I wonder if Falcon 9 rev 5 will have some boxes on the side for some water wings.