On Thursday, SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket into space, carrying the EchoStar 23 communications satellite into orbit over 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for SpaceX. The rocket launch was previously scheduled for Tuesday at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but the weather and high winds delayed the launch. And before that, it was scheduled for March 12, but problems with the static firing sequence pushed the launch date back.
The satellite SpaceX launched will provide broadcast satellite services for Brazil, along with EchoStar’s 25 other satellites. The spacecraft needs to reach geosynchronous transfer orbit over 22,000 miles in altitude in order to work as it’s designed.
In a usual step, SpaceX chose not to attempt a landing of the Falcon 9 — a maneuver which saves which allows the company to reuse the first stage of its boosters for subsequent launches.
This is SpaceX’s second launch from the historic launchpad 39A. In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease to the complex with NASA. The company upgraded the complex with features to better support Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches.
The next SpaceX launch is planned for March 27, where SpaceX will launch an SES-10 telecommunications satellite made by Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. SES is the first company to use a previously-used Falcon 9 rocket in its mission.
Check out more incredible photos from Thursday’s launch below: