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Satellite Launched Aboard Private SpaceX Rocket

December 4, 2013

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A new communications satellite that has both public and government applications has been launched into space aboard a private rocket.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday evening, carrying the 7,000-pound satellite. It will be placed in geostationary orbit. That means it will orbit at a fixed point above Earth, in sync with the Earth's rotation.

The launch was originally scheduled for early this year, but has been delayed by technical issues with the rocket. The last try was on Thanksgiving Day when two attempts were aborted.

The SES-8 satellite will be used in conjunction with another communications systems to increase bandwidth capacity in Asia and provide expansion of services such as maritime communications and distance learning programs.

AP Photo/John Raoux

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Dec. 3, 2013. The rocket is carrying its first commercial payload, a communications satellite.

MORE: Seeing Snow From Space

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This image clearly shows the dividing line between fresh snow cover and bare ground right along the I-95 corridor in the Northeast.

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