SpaceX successfully launches ANASIS-II satellite and breaks booster turnaround record

Darrell Etherington
·2 mins read

SpaceX has completed another successful launch, this time on behalf of Lockheed Martin and its client South Korea. The payload is ANASIS-II, a dedicated military communications satellite (South Korea's first), which the nation will use to help safeguard its national security.

The Falcon 9 carrying the ANASIS-II lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 5:30 PM EDT (2:30 PM PDT) on Monday, using a first-stage booster that SpaceX flew less than two months ago -- on the Demo-2 mission that carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. This is a record in terms of the time required to recover a booster and turn it around for re-use -- breaking the 63-day time of the booster used for Starlink's fourth production launch in February.

Today's booster only went 51 days between flights, beating the existing record by nearly two weeks. It's especially impressive when you consider that the first time this first stage was used, it was for what is easily SpaceX's most critical launch to date -- the first carrying actual human beings on board. Just a few years ago, SpaceX typically configured its boosters in expendable mode for especially large and critical payloads, but it could conceivably even refurbish boosters for future crewed flights.

The launch for this mission included a re-entry attempt, which involved a controlled burn of the booster after it returned into the atmosphere for a landing on SpaceX's drone ship. That also went to plan, meaning this booster has now flown two missions and can potentially be flown yet again. This is the 57th successful booster landing for SpaceX.

Today's mission will also include an attempt to recover the fairing halves used to protect the satellite during launch, which are jettisoned once the payload reaches space. SpaceX isn't detailing that part of the mission live, but will provide an update about its status later.

The ANASIS-II payload was also confirmed to have been delivered successfully to its target orbit.

More From

  • Elon Musk says 'embarrassingly late' two-factor is coming to Tesla app

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged Friday that the company was ‘embarrassingly late’ rolling out a security layer known as two-factor authentication for its mobile app. Musk said in April that the additional security layer was "coming soon."

  • Clearview AI landed a new facial recognition contract with ICE

    The controversial facial recognition software maker Clearview AI has a new contract with ICE, the most controversial U.S. government agency. Clearview was already known to work with the branch of Homeland Security fiercely criticized for implementing the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies. The new contract makes it clear that relationship is ongoing — and that Clearview isn't just playing a bit part in tech's lucrative scrum for federal contracts.

  • Birmingham-based Help Lightning raises $8 million for its remote training and support tools

    In the four years since Help Lightning first began pitching its services out of its Birmingham, Ala. headquarters, the company has managed to sign up 100 customers including some large Fortune 500 companies like Cox Communications, Siemens, and Boston Scientific. Now, with an additional $8 million in financing from Resolve Growth Partners, the company is hoping to expand its sales and marketing efforts and continue to refine its product. The technology was initially invented by Bart Guthrie, a neurosurgeon at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who wanted a way to improve telepresence technologies so he could assist with remote surgeries.

  • Sequoia Capital has internal crash courses for its founders -- here's how they work

    No matter what you think of Sequoia Capital, the firm doesn't rest on its laurels. Recently, to create more room between itself and its ever-growing number of competitors, the firm has also begun fine-tuning a curriculum for the founders of both the pre-seed and seed-stage startups it has funded, as well as its Series A and B-stage founders. According to Roelof Botha -- the U.S. head of the venture firm since 2017 -- and Jess Lee, a partner at Sequoia for nearly four years, the idea is to arm the individuals it backs with Sequoia's vast "tribal knowledge" so they can not only compete with their rivals but, hopefully, outperform them.