SpaceX goes for its 11th launch of the year early on Monday


SpaceX successfully launched a rocket into the night sky about a half hour after midnight Monday morning, deploying a European company's satellite, SES 12, with no apparent problems.

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 Falcon 9's booster previously launched the U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B spacecraft last summer.

However, the WSJ piece also notes that SpaceX is facing uncertain demand for Falcon Heavy, and that the company itself is projecting a significant drop in launches next year due to fewer contracts for large satellite launches-smaller satellites can be happily sent into orbit using SpaceX's smaller, more proven Falcon 9 rocket.

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

SpaceX's next launch is a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, set for the end of the month.

The launch was originally scheduled for early Wednesday morning, and then postponed again to early Friday. The satellite is headed for geostationary orbit, about 22,300 miles above Earth's surface, and will provide video and data services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region, SES representatives said.

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