Watch: SpaceX launches satellite, re-lands booster rocket offshore

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SpaceX launched an Earth-observing satellite into orbit on Thursday and then successfully landed the Falcon 9 booster rocket on a platform offshore.

Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting launch of FORMOSAT-5 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg AFB on August 24. (Twitter/@SpaceX)

The Formosat-5 satellite is being launched for Taiwan’s National Space Organization from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The launch was scheduled for 2:51 p.m. EST and the Falcon 9 rocket landed on the platform about 10 minutes later.

According to, the Formosat-5 satellite is designed to operate in a sun-synchronous orbit about 447 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth. The satellite’s primary instrument is an Earth-observing camera system capable of 2-meter (6.5 feet) resolution in black and white, and 4-m (13 feet) resolution in color. The satellite also carries a secondary Advanced Ionospheric Probe instrument built by Taiwan’s National Central University.


Watch: SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX now valued at $21 billion

First re-flown commercial spacecraft returns from International Space Station


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.