Photos from the liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early Monday from Cape Canaveral show the 20-story launcher climbing into a starry sky with the SES 12 communications satellite.
The two-stage rocket, powered by a reused booster with nine Merlin main engines, lifted off at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT) Monday from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad.
Around 32 minutes later, the Falcon 9’s second stage deployed the Airbus-built SES 12 communications craft into an orbit stretching more than 36,000 miles (58,000 kilometers) above Earth, en route to a final operating post over the equator in geostationary orbit.
Monday’s mission marked the 11th SpaceX launch of the year. The next Falcon 9 launch is scheduled from Cape Canaveral on June 29 with a Dragon supply ship for the International Space Station.
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