Dec 3, 2018

SpaceX reuses Falcon 9 rocket booster to launch record 64 satellites

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster successfully landed on the drone ship (left), while the second stage of the rocket continued into space for deploying a record 64 satellites into low Earth orbit (right). Credit: SpaceX.

SpaceX successfully reused for a third time a Falcon 9 rocket booster on Monday — a company first. It also launched 64 satellites from 34 organizations into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission, on behalf of the private company Spaceflight, set a record for the largest single launch of satellites from U.S. soil, SpaceX said.

Why it matters: Reusing rockets is central to SpaceX's business plan for lowering the cost of access to space. Until Monday, the company had not relaunched a Falcon 9 rocket that had already been flown into space and then returned to Earth more than twice.

  • As if to put an exclamation point on the feat, the company also successfully landed the reused Falcon 9 booster on one of its drone ships in the Pacific Ocean, which means it could possibly be used again for a fourth time.

Details: The tiny satellites hitching a ride aboard the SpaceX rocket include 15 microsats and 49 CubeSats operated by government agencies, commercial companies and educational institutions. They include technology demonstrations and imaging satellites from 17 countries, including India, Jordan, Kazakhstan and the U.S.

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Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response


President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Multiple people have died in a shooting at the Molson Coors brewery complex, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters on Wednesday. He said he "believed" the shooter is among those dead, although police have not confirmed this.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. "There are various sources citing various numbers of casualties. At this time that information has not been confirmed,"the police said.

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