SpaceX slated to launch Falcon 9 from Vandenberg on Thursday

James Marshall
August 25, 2017

"Falcon 9 has lifted off", SpaceX engineer Lauren Lyons said as the rocket soared into the sky over the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, leaving billowing clouds of smoke in its wake. If successful, the launch will put SpaceX ahead of Russian Federation for number of launches this year.

"FORMOSAT-5 is the first space program that Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) has taken full responsibility for the design, development and system integration of", SpaceX representatives wrote.

SpaceX has a 42-minute launch window for today's FORMOSAT-5 liftoff.

The rocket is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-4 between 11:50 a.m. and 12:34 p.m. Thursday. The accelerated launch manifest is meant to help SpaceX get out ahead of its long backlog of customers who have purchased rides on the Falcon 9.

If successful, this would be the 12th SpaceX launch for 2017, and that would surpass Russian Federation for the most launches flown this year.

FORMOSAT-5 is an Earth observation satellite that will sit in sun-synchronous orbit, watching natural disasters, conducting Earth environment monitoring, and helping Taiwan with national security.

As always, just launching a satellite into orbit isn't enough for SpaceX.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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