CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX picked Saturday morning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, sending off a European space telescope to its destined Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2 transfer orbit.
The European Space Agency’s Euclid mission seeks to create a 3D map of the universe. The term “Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2″ refers to a point over 932,000 miles beyond Earth’s orbit where the gravity of the sun and Earth keeps spacecraft in place, such as the James Webb Space Telescope already out there. Once tethered to the area, the Euclid spacecraft will keep pace with the Earth’s orbit and serve as another distant outpost to study the stars.
Liftoff occurred on time at 11:12 a.m. as the 45th Weather Squadron had forecast a 90% chance for favorable weather.
In this launch, the Falcon 9′s first-stage booster successfully landed on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Watch the launch again in the video player below:
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