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Launch Photos: SpaceX Falcon 9 Lofts 64 Satellites (and Lands) on Historic 3rd Flight

The First Flight

SpaceX

SpaceX’s first “Block 5” Falcon 9 rocket launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2018. On May 24, President Donald Trump signed a new space policy directive that could ease regulations on SpaceX and other commercial spaceflight companies.

The Second Flight

SpaceX

SpaceX's first Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket launches the Indonesian communications satellite Merah Putih into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Aug. 7, 2018. The rocket launched the Merah Putih communications satellite into orbit for Telkcom Indonesia.

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.