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SpaceX rocket carries satellite into orbit after two-day delay

In the coming weeks, SpaceX said it will also attempt to relaunch a previously fired rocket.

By Brooks Hays
SpaceX rocket carries satellite into orbit after two-day delay
SpaceX's Falcon 9 successfully delivered an EchoStar XXIII satellite into high-altitude orbit on March 16, 2017. Photo by SpaceX/Flickr

March 16 (UPI) -- SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday after a two-day delay due to high winds. The rocket delivered an EchoStar 23 communications satellite into high altitude orbit.

The blastoff took place in the darkness of early morning at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

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The heft of the commercial satellite carried by the Falcon 9, a whopping 12,300 pounds, required more liftoff power than usual and additional fuel. As a result, SpaceX declined to attempt a return landing.

The newest member of EchoStar's satellite fleet will serve Brazil, offering broadcast, wireless and Internet communications.

SpaceX began launching rockets again earlier this year after a several-month hiatus following a violent explosion during a launch attempt last September. The company has since altered its prelaunch fueling and engine test routine to avoid similar explosions.

In the coming weeks, SpaceX will attempt to relaunch a previously fired rocket -- one of the rockets the company launched and landed in 2016. SpaceX first landed its Falcon 9 vertically in December of 2015. The company has since repeated the feat several times, once as recently as February.

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