Ready to Launch
On Oct. 30, 2017, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soared into space to deliver the Koreasat-5A communications satellite into orbit, then land a first-stage booster back on Earth. See the launch as it happened in photos in our gallery here.
This image: The SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Koreasat-5A stands atop its launchpad at Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Falcon 9 and Koreasat-5A Lift Off
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Koreasat-5A communications satellite lifts off on Oct. 30, 2017.
Clearing the Tower
The Falcon 9 rocket and its payload clear the tower.
Falcon 9 Arcs Toward Orbit
The Falcon 9 curves toward space on Oct. 30, 2017.
Pillar of Fire
The Falcon 9 rides a pillar of fire provided by its nine first-stage Merlin engines.
A Tale of Two Stages
The Falcon 9 first stage (left) heads back to Earth for a landing while the second stage continues to power Koreasat-5A toward geostationary transfer orbit.
Falcon 9 First Stage on Drone Ship Deck
The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 sits on the deck of the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” shortly after launching the Koreasat-5A satellite on Oct. 30, 2017.
A fire smoldered on the Falcon 9 first stage shortly after it landed, but SpaceX quickly put it out.
The Falcon 9 second stage deploys Koreasat-5A into geostationary transfer orbit.
SpaceX Koreasat-5A Mission Emblem
The mission emblem for SpaceX's successful Koreasat-5A communications satellite launch for customer KT Sat of South Korea.
SpaceX Faclon 9 rocket launch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the Koreasat-5A communications satellite into orbit from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Oct. 30, 2017.