SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ready To Liftoff From NASA's Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

It's all happening from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida-weather permitting-and viewers can live-stream the launch via SpaceX's YouTube page and on the SpaceX website.

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands on the deck of the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" after launching the Es'hail-2 satellite on November 15, 2018.

Knifing through an overcast sky, the rocket quickly disappeared from view, leaving a slowly fading rumble in its wake.

SpaceX is set to launch the Es'hail-2 communications satellite for Qatar aboard a Falcon 9 rocket Thursday afternoon.

Es'hail-2 was built by Mitsubishi Electric, representing a rare win on the worldwide market for a company whose main satellite customer has been the Japanese government.

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An artist's impression of the Es'hail 2 communications satellite in orbit.

Es'hailSat's first satellite entered service in December 2013 and now provides direct-to-home television content, business communications and other telecommunications services.

Es'hail-2 also carries two amateur-radio transponders that will facilitate conventional analog ham radio as well as experimental digital communications, including amateur television.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. "Launching rockets in to space is an inherently risky business, but working with the extremely competent people at SpaceX, we are optimistic about the chances of a successful launch". The booster launched Thursday was expected to touchdown on the drone ship eight minutes and 16 seconds after liftoff.


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