Elon Musk may have had a rocky summer, but that didn’t stop SpaceX from another successful launch at Cape Canaveral early Monday morning.
It was SpaceX’s 16th launch this year, and 29th successful rocket recovery. Despite poor weather, the Falcon 9 was able to take off one hour and 17 minutes into its four-hour launch window and deliver a Canadian communications satellite to orbit. The first-stage booster then returned to Earth, landing on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship.
The satellite, a Telstar 18 VANTAGE, will provide video, data and mobile communications from China to Hawaii via the Pacific Ocean, providing “direct connectivity from any point in Asia to the Americas,” according to a statement from the satellite operator, Telstat, at the time the satellite was acquired.
While the launch was under way, speculation was growing that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s recent erratic behavior could trigger an Air Force investigation into the company. Its role as a government contractor has brought extra scrutiny to Musk’s Sept. 7 appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, during which he was filmed smoking marijuana. The incident caused Tesla shares to drop to nearly their lowest point of the year on Friday.
You can watch the full launch below (liftoff is at 14:00).