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EchoStar XXIII: Without the Payload, There Are No Rocket Photos!

16 Mar 2017, 22:59 UTC
EchoStar XXIII: Without the Payload, There Are No Rocket Photos!
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Kennedy Space Center, Florida: A legless SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A on March 16 2017 at 2:00:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time to deliver an EchoStar XXIII Communications Satellite to Geosynchronous orbit.

Falcon 9 launches from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: Michael Seeley / We Report Space
This launch represented several firsts:

This is the first SpaceX night launch from KSC Pad 39A
The mission required the payload to be boosted too far for SpaceX to attempt a landing on the autonomous drone ship. With no landing attempt, it was the first Falcon launch in over a year to not have landing legs or steering fins.
This is the first launch of a commercial satellite launched from KSC on a non-NASA mission
This is the first Florida SpaceX launch with a serial number visible on the Falcon first stage. The number “30” appeared on several sides of the rocket.

Rapid Retraction of the Transporter-Erector
SpaceX is hoping to launch every two weeks for the rest of the year. This is an ambitious turn-around cycle. Part of the plan to enable a fast turnaround is a new move to get the Transporter-Erector (T-E) out ...

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