Hawthorne-based SpaceX will attempt to make its second satellite launch in four days Wednesday, and the launch will mark its third mission of the year using a pre-used rocket as the firm looks to perfect its cost-saving process of space-flight recycling.
The launch window for the mission opens at 3:53 p.m. California time. SpaceX will be using a recycled Falcon 9 rocket to launch the EchoStar 105/SES- 11 commercial communications satellite into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following the launch, the company will attempt to again recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket by landing it on the whimsically named barge “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX previously conducted missions using pre-used Falcon 9 rocket stages in March and June. The company and founder Elon Musk have touted the recovery process as saving millions of dollars by re-using the equipment instead of merely allowing it to burn up in the atmosphere.
The rocket being used for Wednesday’s launch was previously used in February for an International Space Station supply mission.
According to SpaceX, the satellite being launched is a “high-powered hybrid Ku and C-band communications satellite” built for United States-based EchoStar and Luxembourg-based SES.
If anything forces a delay in Wednesday’s launch, a secondary launch window will open at 3:53 p.m. California time Thursday. The launch will be SpaceX’s 15th of the year.
On Sunday, SpaceX successfully propelled 10 satellites into orbit aboard a rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
In other news, a SpaceX reusable rocket could take passengers from L.A. to Toronto in 30 minutes in the future.