SpaceX prepares for Monday launch of SES-12 satellite

SpaceX prepares for Monday launch of SES-12 satellite

SpaceX's latest satellite launch-its 11th mission this year, again using a Falcon 9-took place at Cape Canaveral early Monday.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket took off at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT) Monday from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad, and headed east over the Atlantic Ocean.

The National Weather Service had predicted decent weather for the launch with only a 20 percent chance of rain, with gusts as high as 18 to 20 miles per hour and sky cover of about 50 percent in the Titusville area.

The first stage has flown once before, in September 2017, carrying the robotic X-37B space plane for the USA military. The satellite will be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.

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SpaceX will not attempt to recover the first stage-the rocket will instead fall into the ocean. "We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that is indeed able to be reused without taking apart", Musk said last month.

SES was the first company to fly a spacecraft on a used Falcon 9 rocket booster.

SpaceX has landed these boosters 25 times, and reflown them on a dozen occasions.

Payer traveled from SES headquarters in Luxembourg to watch the launch of his company's SES-12 satellite.

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