SpaceX launched its
workhorse Falcon 9 rocket with the Nilesat-301 satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) on Wednesday.
Lifting off from Space Launch
Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Falcon 9 embarked on its first GTO mission of the year
Flying this mission
was first stage booster B1062-7, making its seventh flight.
After it completed its main
task of lifting the second stage and payload out of the atmosphere, the booster landed on SpaceX’s drone ship
B1062 was first launched as part of
the GPS-III SV04 mission in November 2020; it has gone on to launch GSP-III SV05, Inspiration 4, Axiom-1, and two Starlink missions.
It is unknown if the fairings that
protected Nilesat-301 during its ascent — and which will be recovered on this flight by SpaceX’s ship Bob — had flown on a previous Falcon 9 mission.