This Monday (20th), SpaceX successfully launched South Korea’s first military communication satellite. The Falcon 9 rocket with the cargo took off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (United States), after a short delay caused by weather conditions.
The launch mission of ANASIS-II was originally scheduled for the last 14 days, but ended up being postponed by Elon Musk’s company. The delay was due to technical issues, with the aim of evaluating a possible hardware change in the second stage of the rocket.
Built by Airbus Space and Defense, the satellite was designed to provide secure communications over a wide coverage, making it the first equipment of its kind used by Asians. Before that, South Koreans used civilian and international satellites for their military communications.
The launch coincides with the 50th anniversary date of the South Korean Defense Development Agency, which is responsible for operating ANASIS-II. However, the country’s authorities did not attend the event, due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
SpaceX also had reason to celebrate. Is that Falcon 9 took off using the same booster (first stage of the rocket) that propelled the launch of the Crew Dragon capsule, with NASA astronauts heading for the International Space Station, on May 30.
Thus, the company broke its own record of time to recover a booster, which was 61 days. The new 51-day mark also improves the record set by NASA in 1985, when the lowest rotation between the flights of the space shuttle Atlantis was 54 days.
The company’s next step is to reduce the booster recovery time from weeks to days.