Cape Canaveral

SpaceX launches rocket carrying Japanese satellite; booster lands on drone ship

SpaceX launches rocket carrying Japanese satellite; booster lands on drone ship

SpaceX launched a Japanese commercial communications satellite early Sunday morning and then landed the first stage of its rocket on a drone ship. 

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 1:26 a.m. Eastern Time from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the JCSAT-16 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. At 1:40 a.m., the first stage landed on a platform floating several hundred miles off the Florida coast.

The secondary objective of landing the first stage of Falcon 9 on the drone ship — named Of Course I Still Love You — is key to the SpaceX mission of reusing rockets.

The satellite, operated by SKY Perfect JSAT Corp., will serve as a...

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