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It will see Falcon 9 carry Formosat-5 into a sun-synchronous orbit approximately 600-1000km above the surface of the Earth, where it will be able to best carry out its duties of remote sensing and Earth observation. The company has launched more rockets this year than any other year before, and we still have about five months to go.

Thursday's flight was the fifth time a Falcon 9 rocket has launched from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 4-East, a hillside launch complex previously used by heavy-lift Titan 4 rockets.

SpaceX launched the satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly before noon.

It was a roundtrip today for SpaceX's Falcon 9. This year, the company has started to make good on its promise to do a mission every two weeks, by launching with more frequency and regularity since May.

SpaceX's 2017, however, has been one for the company's history books.

And this is actually good news for SpaceX as a business, as much as Musk may love to cultivate his relationship with the media. The company successfully launched two used Falcon 9 rocket stages this year and landed many more, most recently on August 14 after a Dragon cargo ship launch for NASA.

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SpaceX has been working to flawless its system of recovering rockets for reuse in future missions, saving millions of dollars in costs.

The new space program, a collaboration between NSPO and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration in the USA, will collect data for weather forecasts and ionospheric, gravity, and climate research, former NSPO Director-General Chang Guey-shin (張桂祥) told CNA.

The satellite is created to operate for five years, and will orbit the Earth once every 100 minutes.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted: "The #satellite will gather images & data on earth's surface to help evaluate natural disasters".

Taiwan's National Space Organization, the country's space agency, originally paid SpaceX around $23 million in 2010 for the launch, less than half of the advertised price of a Falcon 9 launch today. Eastern, at the beginning of a 42-minute launch window. Check back here about 15 minutes prior to launch to watch SpaceX's coverage of the mission live.


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