SpaceX launches communications satellite into orbit

March 16, 2017

SpaceX on Thursday successfully launched a communications satellite into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The company's Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 2 am (0600 GMT) carrying the EchoStar XXIII, a for EchoStar Corporation.

The satellite will be place in orbit more that 35,000 kilometers above the earth and provide telecommunications service to Brazil, SpaceX said.

However SpaceX said it will not attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage after launch "due to mission requirements."

The mission took off from NASA's historic launchpad 39A, the origin of the pioneering US spaceflights that took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the space shuttle missions that ran from 1981 to 2011.

SpaceX, founded and led by billionaire Elon Musk, is emerging as leader of the modern commercial space industry after becoming the first to send a private cargo carrier to the International Space Station in 2010.

The California-based company has endured two costly disasters in the past two years—a launchpad blast that destroyed a rocket and its satellite payload in September, and a June 2015 explosion after liftoff that obliterated a Dragon cargo ship packed with provisions bound for the space station.

Explore further: SpaceX poised to launch cargo from historic NASA pad

Related Stories

SpaceX shuffles Falcon 9 launch schedule

January 31, 2017

SpaceX announced Sunday (Jan. 29) a significant shuffle to the Falcon 9 launch schedule, saying that a key NASA mission to resupply the space station is moving to the head of the line and will now be their first mission to ...

SpaceX set to launch again Monday

January 7, 2017

SpaceX plans to resume flights of its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday, after pinning down the cause of a launchpad explosion that destroyed a satellite in September, a spokesman said.

Recommended for you

Researchers track Chinese space station as it falls

March 23, 2018

A defunct Chinese space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to fall to Earth any day now—on March 31, give or take a few days. When it does, it will be the largest manmade object to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in a decade.

Mars Curiosity celebrates sol 2,000

March 23, 2018

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. An image mosaic taken by the rover in January offers a preview of what comes next.

Radio nebula discovered around the pulsar PSR J0855–4644

March 21, 2018

Using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India, an international team of astronomers has detected a diffuse radio emission forming a nebula around the pulsar PSR J0855–4644. The finding is reported March 9 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.