SpaceX has successfully launched an ambitious mission to deploy 64 satellites into Earth orbit – while also setting new records for launches and landings alike.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 10.32am Pacific time (6.32pm UTC) today, December 3, taking its multiple payloads into low-Earth orbit. About eight minutes after launching, the first stage of the rocket successfully landed on the drone ship Just Read The Instructions, something that’s well beyond being routine by now.

But importantly, this was the first time one of SpaceX’s first stage boosters had successfully flown three times, a major step in the company’s goal of making their rockets reusable. This booster previously flew on May 11, 2018, taking the Bangabandhu-1 satellite for Bangladesh into orbit, and the launch of the Merah Putih satellite for Indonesia on August 7, 2018.

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By Ian Dei

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