Falcon rocket with satellite for Taiwan launches from Vandenberg

Falcon rocket with satellite for Taiwan launches from Vandenberg

SpaceX is set to make its 12th rocket launch of the year today.

SpaceX is not a country, but if it were the company would be tied with Russian Federation for the most orbital launches of 2017. If SpaceX keeps up its momentum, it could launch 20 total rockets by the year's end. SpaceX has already re-flown two used Falcon 9 first stages, and it has also employed the same robotic Dragon cargo capsule on two separate resupply flights to the International Space Station. The spacecraft carries cameras capable of producing panchromatic images at a resolution of two meters and color images at a resolution of four meters.

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The satellite was constructed by the Taiwan National Space Organization.

In another Facebook post before the launch, Tsai said FormoSat-5 was carrying Taiwanese technology as well as Taiwanese dream.

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At the time of the contract, SpaceX expected to launch Formosat-5 by early 2014. SpaceX also had a couple of high-profile accidents, including a second-stage failure during a launch in 2015, and a launch pad accident in 2016.

SpaceX launched the satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly before noon. However, Spaceflight announced in March that it had chose to find alternative rides for those secondary payloads because of "significant" delays it expected in the Formosat-5 launch. The gate opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 11:40 a.m. Weapons, alcohol, smoke, open fires and/or barbecues will not be allowed. The next Falcon 9 launch, of the U.S. Air Force's X-37B spaceplane, is planned for early September from Florida.

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