March 30 (UPI) -- SpaceX launched a private communications satellite Thursday evening in what the company said is the first time an orbital space rocket has been used for multiple flights.
The launch occurred at Cape Canaveral, Fla., at precisely 6:30 p.m., which was at the start of its launch window.
SpaceX said the satellite, SES-10, was deployed about a half-hour after takeoff and the Falcon 9 rocket landed on a drone ship a short time later.
"It means you can fly and refly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket. This is going to be ultimately a huge revolution in spaceflight," SpaceX founder Elon Musk said after the successful mission, calling it an "amazing day" for the space industry.
"This is a really, really exciting step forward," Martin Halliwell, SES' chief technology officer, said before launch. "I think the whole industry is looking."
Blastoff at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida was the first reflight of an orbital class rocket, marking "a historic a milestone on the road to full and rapid reusability," the company said in a press release.
The 23-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket involved in Thursday's launch previously delivered the CRS-8 satellite into orbit last April.
The 11,645-lb. SES-10 is the first satellite designed by Luxembourg-based SES to be intended specifically to serve Latin America. The satellite will replace two smaller ones in the same location, increasing high-powered satellite capacity access from the Gulf of California in Mexico to Cape Horn in Chile.