The SpaceX team has successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket. The craft launched as scheduled, at 10:50PM ET, from Cape Canaveral, and is set to make a "soft landing" into the sea after it has carried its payload beyond the Earth's atmosphere. The rocket is unlikely to be recovered.
Both satellites deployed on target. Now firing their ion thrusters to reach geo station over Europe & Asia.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 2, 2015
The rocket is carrying two all-electric commercial satellites built by Boeing. The satellites are from the French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite. According to Spaceflight Now, the satellites will rely entirely on energy-efficient electric ion engines to maintain their orbit for up to two decades.
2nd of 2 satellites from tonight's launch being deployed into supersynchronous transfer orbit https://t.co/p0W8L3uGMP— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 2, 2015
SpaceX is scheduled to launch at least two more Falcon 9s by mid-April. The rockets are designed to be recoverable, but the private space travel company has had trouble landing the craft successfully in order to use them again — back in January, a Falcon 9 exploded in impact with a 300-by-100-foot barge in the Atlantic. A second test of the landing system was postponed so SpaceX could launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory last month. Poor weather and radar failures had delayed the launch of the rocket on three previous occasions.