SpaceX is at it again. After a successful slew of launches that began earlier this year, Elon Musk’s rocket venture company has just launched a Taiwanese Earth-observation satellite called FORMOSAT-5 into space aboard a reused Falcon 9.
The launch took place on site in Vandenberg, California and the rocket landed on SpaceX’s drone ship 10 minutes after it took off. It’s the 12th successful launch SpaceX has had this year, the 40th flight for a Falcon 9, and the ninth time one has landed without hiccups.
It’s been a promising year for SpaceX. Not only has the aerospace company had more launches than ever this year — prior to 2017, the most launches it’d had in a year was eight — it’s also moving forward with a number of other endeavors. SpaceX recently launched the last of its unused Dragon 2 spacecraft, and is preparing to launch a Falcon Heavy this November. There’s also the highly-anticipated development of its Mars mission coming out this upcoming September. Even further, Musk has given a long-awaited sneak peek into its space suit development project for NASA, releasing the first image of the futuristic suit earlier this week. It’s expected to see space action in 2018, as SpaceX plans to send two tourists on a round trip to the Moon. SpaceX will continue with its commercial partnership missions, just like with this most recent launch of a satellite specially designed and built in Taiwan.