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SpaceX Launches First Commercial Satellite


An unmanned Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket is seen on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a week ahead of the successful December 3 mission.

An unmanned Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket is seen on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a week ahead of the successful December 3 mission.

The private U.S. company Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, has for the first time successfully launched a commercial satellite.

An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, late on December 3 and around 15 minutes later placed into orbit a $100 million telecommunications satellite owned by the Luxembourg-based firm SES.

The satellite is to be involved in providing television and other services to customers in India, China, Vietnam, and elsewhere in Asia.

It was third attempt to launch the satellite aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, after two launch attempts last week were scuttled by technical glitches.

SpaceX has previously successfully launched capsules carrying cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Falcon rocket.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP
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