SpaceX launched one of its tried and true Falcon 9 rockets on Tuesday in a mission that the commercial space company dubbed AMOS-17. The rocket’s nine Merlin engines ignited and the vehicle lifted off from the launchpad at Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at approximately 7:23 P.M. Eastern time.
According to SpaceX, this was the third and final flight for this particular Falcon 9 rocket; previously, it flew the Telstar-19 VANTAGE mission in July 2018 and the Es’hail-2 mission in November 2018. On Tuesday’s AMOS-17 launch, the rocket lofted a communications satellite into Earth’s orbit.
From what we can gather, the launch was originally planned for Saturday, but a valve inside of the rocket’s first stage needed to be replaced, which called for the mission to be rescheduled.
After the satellite made it into orbit around the Earth, the rocket’s fairing fell back to Earth. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared footage of the company’s net ship (Ms. Tree Boat) capturing the fairing over water via Twitter last night.