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StartscienceSpaceX lands its first Falcon 9 rocket in 2021 as if it...

SpaceX lands its first Falcon 9 rocket in 2021 as if it were nothing

SpaceX, Elon Musk Rocket CompanyThe new year began with the sending of a communications satellite into space for the Turkish nation on Thursday.

The Turksat 5A is the first pair of next-generation broadcast birds that SpaceX will take into orbit. The Falcon 9 it lifted into orbit took off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 6:15 PM PDT (9:15 PM ET).

Turksat says the new satellite will be able to provide expanded communications capabilities to Turkey, as well as parts of Asia, Europe and Africa.

The Falcon 9 booster used for the mission successfully completed its fourth launch, topping it completely with its fourth landing, this time aboard the Just Read The Instructions drone parked in the Atlantic.

The company was also hoping to recover the two halves of the gift, or nose cone, used in the mission with the help of ships stationed in the area.

This was a relatively routine assignment for SpaceX, but it sets the right tone for a year the company hopes will hit a few dozen successful launches like this one. The next mission is Transporter 1, which is to launch joint flights carrying dozens of smaller satellites into orbit next week.

Follow Space Calendar 2021 for CNET To keep up with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your Google Calendar.