Hawthorne's SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket carrying communications satellite into space

Students at Lennox Math Science and Technology Academy will have a science project launched into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket to launch June 1. The students project which had to compete for a ride on the rocket is a small tube which contains soil

SpaceX is aiming to launch another satellite into space on Monday.

If all goes well, from today through the end of June, there will be as many as five Falcon 9 rockets that will be launched, the next being on June 1 of the CRS-11 Dragon mission.

Weighing in at over six tons and about the size of a double-decker bus, the communications satellite operated by British commercial company Inmersat is SpaceX's largest payload to head to Geostationary Transfer Orbit - an orbit that keeps the satellite focused on one spot above the Earth. The satellite that's going up tonight will join three additional I-5 probes already in orbit, making up the Global Xpress constellation for Inmarsat.

The launch was originally slated to be done with one of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rockets, but the company has yet to bring those into commercial operation.

Additionally, today's launch comes just over two weeks after SpaceX's last mission - and the company's next launch is tentatively scheduled for just over two weeks from now.

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Subscribe to Times of San Diego's free daily email newsletter! . A later engine burn successfully put Inmarsat-5 F4 into its proper orbit for spacecraft separation. Barring any significant setbacks, SpaceX could be looking at its best year ever, with up to 24 launches in 2017.

Weather could not have been better Monday for a launch with a 90 percent chance for favorable conditions and clear sky. However, since the company has not brought those into commercial flights yet, it chose to go with a regular Falcon.

The Inmarsat-5 satellite originally was built as a spare and is now meant to expand existing service. More than 55,000 watched the broadcast on SpaceX's YouTube site. "Everyone at Inmarsat, SpaceX and Boeing is really, really pumped about this launch". SpaceX has recovered 10 first stage boosters in 15 attempts over the past two years.

The launch was actually suppose to take place with a Falcon Heavy.

A key element in maintaining that rapid launch rate is returning pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to service. The rocket in question was carrying a heavy payload in form of a satellite from Inmarsat.

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