After standing down for a day “out of an abundance of caution” to analyze errant readings on a second stage engine actuator, SpaceX ended the week on a spectacular note, successfully lofting the Thaicom 8 communications satellite to Geostationary Transfer Orbit, and then once again landing the first stage on at sea.
Sped up video of first stage landing
Yesterday’s launch marked the second tine in a row SpaceX has recovered the first stage during the course of a launch to GTO. It will be interesting to see whether or not this booster arrived back in a re-flight worthy condition. Given that Thaicom 8 massed quite a bit less than JCSAT-14 at liftoff despite the equally energetic orbit both were required to reach, there should have been more propellant available for the critical deceleration burn right before atmospheric re-entry.
What’s your guess?