Photos: Falcon 9 flight marks Cape Canaveral’s first launch of 2019

The first launch from Cape Canaveral this year placed into orbit an Indonesian communications satellite, a privately-funded Israeli moon lander, and an experimental space surveillance microsatellite for the U.S. Air Force.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket fired into a starry sky over Florida’s Space Coast at 8:45 p.m. EST on Feb. 21 (0145 GMT Feb. 22) with the U.S.-built, Indonesian-owned Nusantara Satu communications satellite.

It was the first launch from Cape Canaveral in 2019, and the second SpaceX mission of the year after a Jan. 11 liftoff from  California.

The Israeli Beresheet lunar lander, funded by donations from private donors and companies, accompanied the rocket into orbit, beginning a seven-week journey before targeting landing on the moon April 11. The Air Force Research Laboratory’s S5 space situational awareness demonstration satellite also rode into orbit on the Falcon 9 rocket on a rideshare opportunity provided by Spaceflight, a small satellite launch broker.

Read our full story for details on the mission.

Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket streaks into a starry sky Thursday night. Credit: SpaceX
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage lands on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You.” Credit: SpaceX

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