Vandenberg AFB satellite launch aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket huge success

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Thursday's Falcon 9 booster is the 15th successful rocket landing performed by the company since SpaceX stuck its first landing in 2015.

The Formosat-5 satellite is being launched for Taiwan's National Space Organization from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The event will be streamed live.

The launch was also a milestone for SpaceX, which has now successfully launched 12 rockets this year.

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According to Space.com, the Formosat-5 satellite is created to operate in a sun-synchronous orbit about 447 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth.

The main payload of Formosat-5 is an optical "Remote Sensing Instrument", which will provide 6.5-foot (2 meters) resolution for black-and-white images and 13-foot (4 m) resolution for multi-spectral color images, SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission overview. SpaceX later discontinued the Falcon 1, moving Formosat-5 to a larger Falcon 9 vehicle. The gate opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 11:40 a.m. Weapons, alcohol, smoke, open fires and/or barbecues will not be allowed.

It's hard to believe it was less than two years ago that a SpaceX Falcon 9 landing was an elusive and unprecedented achievement. As Falcon 9 launches become more routine and less newsworthy, business can boom for SpaceX while also laying the groundwork and demand for Musk's next big thing. 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.

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