SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral
Matt Smith CNN
2:33 PM, Dec 3, 2013
11:42 PM, Dec 3, 2013
(CNN) -- A SpaceX rocket with a 7,000-pound communications satellite on top lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday evening after two earlier launch dates were scrubbed.
The Falcon 9 booster thundered into the skies over Florida at 5:41 p.m. in the private space contractor's first attempt to put a satellite into a stationary orbit around Earth -- a flight the company has called its "most challenging mission to date."
The SES-8 satellite will relay signals to and from the South Asia and Asia Pacific regions from 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. Its first planned launch on November 25 was scrubbed when controllers received questionable readings from the liquid oxygen system in the first stage; the second, on November 28, was called off after finding oxygen in the engine igniter fluid, the company said.
"Better to be paranoid and wrong," SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted.