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President congratulates FormoSat-5 team for successful launch

25 August 2017

Hawthorne-based SpaceX launched a Taiwanese satellite into orbit Thursday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

"Formosat-5 also hosts a secondary scientific payload, an Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP), developed by Taiwan's National Central University", they added.

Thursday's satellite launch was the 12th SpaceX mission this year, meaning the company could reach its goal of weekly launches by 2019.

SpaceX is not a country, but if it were the company would be tied with Russian Federation for the most orbital launches of 2017. The Falcon 9's mission-launch FORMOSAT-5 satellite into space.

Its main instrument is a sensor that produces high-resolution black-and-white and colour images.

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The Formosat-5 was initially scheduled to launch four years ago aboard a much smaller rocket at a cost of less than half of the estimated $62 million that it now costs for a commercial launch aboard a Falcon 9.

SpaceX launched the satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly before noon.

The launch was the 12th Falcon 9 mission of 2017, and the second in 10 days, after the launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft August 14 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After the rocket puts the FORMOSAT-5 Earth observation satellite into low-Earth orbit, its first stage will attempt to land on a barge in the Pacific Ocean named "Just Read the Instructions". The next Falcon 9 launch, of the U.S. Air Force's X-37B spaceplane, is planned for early September from Florida.

President congratulates FormoSat-5 team for successful launch