SpaceX sticks another vertical rocket landing at sea

Posted August 25, 2017

The Formosat-5 was initially scheduled to launch four years ago aboard a much smaller rocket at a cost of less than half of the estimated $62 million that it now costs for a commercial launch aboard a Falcon 9.

Another week, another successful rocket launch and recovery by Elon Musk's groundbreaking, Mars-seeking company, SpaceX.

The Formosat-5, an Earth observation satellite built by Taiwan's National Space Organization, successfully deployed more than 11 minutes after liftoff. Eastern, at the beginning of a 42-minute launch window.

According to, the Formosat-5 satellite is created to operate in a sun-synchronous orbit about 447 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth. The spacecraft carries cameras capable of producing panchromatic images at a resolution of two meters and color images at a resolution of four meters.

In another Facebook post before the launch, Tsai said FormoSat-5 was carrying Taiwanese technology as well as Taiwanese dream. However, Spaceflight announced in March that it had made a decision to find alternative rides for those secondary payloads because of "significant" delays it expected in the Formosat-5 launch.

The launch went off as planned from VAFB's Space Launch Complex-4 just after 11:51 a.m. After the first stage sends the satellite on its way to low Earth orbit, the booster will attempt a landing on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. The other six rocket landings have occurred at "Landing Zone 1", a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.