SpaceX's Falcon 9 successfully blasts into outer space

After two canceled launches, the company's most powerful rocket finally hurtles through Earth's atmosphere and places its satellite into orbit.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launching from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Screengrab by Dara Kerr/CNET

As the saying goes, the third time's a charm.

The conditions were perfect, wind was down, temperatures were moderate, and SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launch out of Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was a success on Tuesday.

"Mission confirmed," announced ground control once the rocket was safely past Earth's atmosphere. Roughly 45 minutes after launch, the rocket had finished safely putting its satellite into orbit.

"Spacecraft separation confirmed!" SpaceX tweeted. "SES-8 is now in its targeted GEO transfer orbit."

This was the company's third attempt to blast its most powerful rocket into space. The first two attempts were scrapped after unusual pressure readings and technical issues. SpaceX's CEO and founder Elon Musk said the company was playing it safe by canceling the first two launches. However, by Monday, the company was ready for its third try.

"All known rocket anomalies have been resolved," SpaceX tweeted on Monday. "Launch targeted for Tues, w/ Weds as a back-up."

SpaceX's Falcon 9 mission was to carry a SES-8 communications satellite for placement in orbit. While SpaceX has launched satellites before, this was the first time it launched a commercial communications satellite.

"This launch is obviously very important to the future of SpaceX," Musk told reporters at a pre-launch reception last week. "We're very appreciative that SES would place a bet on SpaceX here."

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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