The fifth try was a charm.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday evening carrying an SES communications satellite to orbit, where it will provide commercial services to southern Asia.

The launch, at 6:35 p.m., came on the fifth launch date SpaceX set in the past week and a half, and went up without a hitch into the clear, early-dusk sky over Cape Canaveral.

This launch actually was more than six months in the waiting. Initially, SES, a Luxembourg-based satellite company, had expected SpaceX to carry the SES-9 satellite in August. But SpaceX had a rocket blow up in June and postponed all launches through December.

Delays had occurred for both weather and technical problems.

The next launch from Cape Canaveral will be a Atlas V rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo capsule from Orbital ATK Corp., tentatively set for March 22. That will be a cargo resupply mission for the International Space Station.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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