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SpaceX launches Turkish satellite from Florida

By Paul Brinkmann

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 7 (UPI) --

SpaceX successfully launched a Turkish communications satellite, the Türksat 5A, from Florida on Thursday night.

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Liftoff occurred at 9:15 p.m. aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which was about 45 minutes later than SpaceX had originally scheduled for the launch though well within its four-hour launch window.

The Space Force had forecast a 30% chance that bad weather could prompt a delay.

"The primary weather concern for a Thursday evening launch attempt will be cumulus clouds and thick clouds," according to the forecast.

European firm Airbus Defense and Space built the satellite in England and France, with significant Turkish contributions, for the Turkish company Türksat.

The spacecraft will provide television and internet broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Türksat 5A will use electric propulsion to control its orbit, with a launch mass of 7,716 pounds.

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