SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early Sunday morning, delivering a commercial communications satellite to Earth orbit.
Liftoff from complex 40 was right on time at 1:50 a.m. EDT.
The Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite was then deployed into its proper orbit just shy of 33 minutes after blastoff. It will spend the next 15 years providing various communication services to regions all over North, Central and South America.
Although the first stage of the Falcon 9 did not have enough propellant to come back to the Space Coast, it did have enough to execute a precise landing on the SpaceX barge Of Course I Still Love You, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles east of the Cape.
The next launch from the Cape is now expected to be another Falcon 9 rocket flying on August 2 with another commercial communications satellite. Liftoff is targeted for 1:19 a.m. EDT.
-- Jim Banke