SpaceX has just successfully launched its first geosynchronous satellite, a communications sat for SES.
After attempts on four separate days, SpaceX finally achieved liftoff this afternoon at 5:41pm ET from Cape Canaveral. After the launch, SpaceX cofounder, CEO and chief designer Elon Musk Tweeted:
Reached parking orbit. Now coasting towards equator, where the upper stage will, if all goes well, restart to raise apogee
Followed by, a few minutes later:
Restart was good, apogee raised to 80k km (50k miles). Yes!!!
In other words, the launch was successful and the second stage of the rocket successfully reignited to boost the payload to its transfer orbit. From here the satellite just needs to maneuver itself to a geosynchronous orbit (going around Earth in synch with its rotation) over Asia.
See my previous post on the significance of this mission.
Congratulations to Elon and the SpaceX crew. Ad astra!