SpaceX Launches Eutelsat Satellite; Dragon Returns Crew-4 from Space Station

Image: SpaceX

SpaceX on Saturday launched the Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13F satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The rocket took off at 1:22 a.m. ET/10:22 p.m. PT, with its first stage landing on SpaceX’s Just Read the Instructions droneship around nine minutes later.

SpaceX confirmed the deployment of the Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13F satellite at approximately 1:59 a.m. ET/10:59 p.m. PT. This marked the third successful launch and landing for this particular Falcon 9 rocket. The same booster previously supported SpaceX’s CRS-24 mission, as well as one Starlink launch.

SpaceX on Friday also brought back Crew-4 astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS).

The company’s Crew Dragon capsule carried NASA Astronauts Kjell N. Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti back to Earth from the ISS, splashing down off the coast of Florida at 4:55 p.m. ET/1:55 p.m. PT on Friday, October 14.

Crew-4 returned to Earth after spending 170 days in space aboard the ISS. One of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets launched the Dragon capsule and Crew-4 astronauts to the orbiting laboratory back in April from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Earlier this month, SpaceX launched Crew-5 — NASA’s next crew rotation — to the ISS from the Kennedy Space Center.