SpaceX successfully launched Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday Nov. 15 2018.                        SpaceX

Es'hail-2 spacecraft was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and will be operated by Qatar-based company Es'hailSat.

When a customer like Qatar orders a Falcon 9 rocket launch from SpaceX, they now pay about $62 million, according to the company's recent estimates.

The first stage of the rocket successfully sat on a floating platform off the coast of Florida. That wasn't the case, however, with liftoff taking place successfully and the satellite being deployed around half an hour later.

The primary launch window opens at 3:46 p.m. ET and closes at 5:29 p.m. ET.

In addition to providing more bandwidth for Qatar, the satellite also carries transponders for use by amateur, or ham, radio operators.

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The rocket and its payload hit a succession of milestones within minutes of takeoff, including first and second stage separation, as well as the release of the payload fairings. Two firings were required to put the Es'hail 2 relay station into the required elliptical "transfer" orbit, one with a predicted low point of just 115 miles and a high point of about 22,370.

The first stage landing, meanwhile, followed SpaceX's normal script for recoveries. And 9 in the title refers to the number of engines in the rocket. The Es'hail 2 will be situated 26 degrees east longitude over the equator. "Launching rockets in to space is an inherently risky business, but working with the extremely competent people at SpaceX, we are optimistic about the chances of a successful launch". Television views provided by SpaceX showed the stage smoothly descending to touchdown about eight minutes and 15 seconds after liftoff.

Indeed, company founder and CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly said that he founded SpaceX in 2002 primarily to help make humanity a multiplanet species.

The Falcon 9 is SpaceX's reusable workhorse rocket; this was the company's 18th mission in 2018, tying its total from a year ago.

Thursday's launch was powered by a previously used rocket booster.

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