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Falcon 9 launches ORBCOMM satellites and lands first stage
Posted: Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 6:03 PM ET (2303 GMT)
Falcon 9 first stage landing after ORBCOMM launch Dec 2015 (SpaceX) A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched 11 ORBCOMM satellites Monday night, landing the rocket's first stage a few kilometers from its Cape Canaveral launch pad. The upgraded Falcon 9 lifted off at 8:29 pm EST Monday (0129 GMT Tuesday) carrying 11 Orbcomm second-generation satellites. After the second stage separated from the first to deliver the satellites to low Earth orbit, the first stage did a series of engine firings to return to the Cape, making a landing in the middle of the pad at a decommissioned launch site called Landing Zone 1. The landing, the first time SpaceX successfully recovered the rocket's first stage, is a major milestone in the company's efforts to make the vehicle reusable. Orbcomm reported that all 11 satellites were in good health after launch.
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