SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Space Coast Wednesday evening with the SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite, a video relay and data distribution platform jointly developed by SES and EchoStar.
The two-stage launcher took off at 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT) Wednesday from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Powered by nine Merlin 1D engines, the Falcon 9’s previously-flown first stage guided the rocket downrange east over the Atlantic Ocean, then detached and descended to an on-target landing on a floating ocean-going platform.
The Falcon 9’s upper stage delivered the SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite to orbit around a half-hour into the mission, deploying the craft on a trajectory toward a perch more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator, where it will broadcast television and relay video programming across the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean for SES and EchoStar.
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