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Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, lands booster on ship in ocean

Launch marks first of second half of 2018 launch schedule

Courtesy: SpaceX Twitter page
Courtesy: SpaceX Twitter page

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX kicked off the second half of its 2018 launch schedule early Sunday with the successful delivery of a Canadian telecommunications satellite to orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station — already the company’s 13th launch of the year.

News 6 partner Florida Today reported that the mission was the first of two planned in less than a month for Ottawa-based Telesat, and potentially the first of four SpaceX could fly during the same period from the Eastern and Western ranges, with the next targeted for Wednesday morning from California.

At 1:50 a.m. Sunday, July 22, a 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket fired nine Merlin main engines to rumble from Launch Complex 40 on time at the opening of a four-hour window.

Less than 33 minutes later, after two burns by the rocket’s upper stage, the more than 15,500-pound Telstar 19 Vantage satellite was released on its way to an orbit high over the equator.

Earlier, about eight-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster dropped to a tail-first landing on legs on the deck of a SpaceX ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.