SpaceX blasts communications satellite from historic KSC pad

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 11:54 AM EDT

A SpaceX rocket delivered a communications satellite to orbit after a successful launch at the Kennedy Space Center early Thursday.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 2 a.m. on a chilly morning from Launch Complex 39A. This was welcome news as a first attempt to launch the rocket on Tuesday was canceled because of high winds. 

The launch made more history for the pad, which launched men to the moon and the space shuttle to the International Space Station.

“The first ever commercial communications satellite ever launched from this pad,” said SpaceX’s Lauren Lyons on the company’s webcast.

The rocket delivered the EchoStar 23 satellite to orbit. The satellite will transmit television shows into homes and businesses in Brazil.

The satellite will stay in a geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth. Because of that high orbit, the company was not able to bring back the first stage booster.

SpaceX is now preparing for its next launch from the Kennedy Space Center, and it, too, will be historical: The company says a recovered first-stage booster will launch at the end of this month. It will be the first time a rocket that launched once will be used to launch a second time.