SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket

Falcon 9 finally launches SES satellite on third try, after the previous two attempts were plagued with technical glitches.
By Ananth Baliga   |   Dec. 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- California-based SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket with an SES satellite after two aborted attempts last week.

The rocket was launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral at 5:41 p.m., taking with it a satellite into geostationary orbit -- the first time SpaceX has placed a satellite at that altitude.

The launch is the company's seventh, and their previous launches, including those to the International Space Station for NASA, went to much lower orbits. The SES satellite will provide television services to customers in India, China and other parts of South East Asia.

"The successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite confirms the upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers to the industry's highest performance standards," Elon Musk, CEO and chief designer of SpaceX, said in a statement.

The Falcon 9's success is expected to open up the satellite launch market, with SpaceX providing the service for a fraction of the cost of its competitors, Europe's Arianespace and International Launch Service, which uses Russia's Proton rocket.


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