SpaceX launches communications satellite, lands booster

By  | 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched and landed its second rocket in three days, this time from the U.S. East Coast.

The unmanned Falcon — recycled following a February flight — blasted off with a satellite Wednesday evening from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Minutes later, the leftover booster landed on an offshore barge.

The dual-mission satellite will be shared by Colorado-based EchoStar and SES, a Luxembourg company.

Early Monday, a SpaceX Falcon soared from Southern California with Iridium satellites. That first stage also was recovered.

The booster launched Wednesday was previously used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station for NASA. It's only the third time SpaceX has reflown a rocket on an orbital mission.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk is working to lower launch costs by reusing rockets. He's aiming for Mars.