A Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4 this morning at 9:01 PDT.
The payload consisted six satellites mounted on the two stage rocket. One of the packages is the Canadian Space Agency satellite, Cassiope, which will measure space weather in the ionosphere spacecraft with two packages; an experimental communications satellite and probe designed to record space environment.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as Space X, is a private launch firm that modified the older unused Space Launch Complex -4E to launch the Falcon rocket. This launch is also a test for the private launch company to test upgraded engines and other systems for future launches using the Falcon launch vehicle.
The company made history on May 25, 2012, as the first privately held company to launch a payload for the International Space Station using their own Dragon spacecraft.
The Falcon 9 is a liquid fueled rocket and will reach orbit in 9 minutes after the two stages send the payload out of the earth’s atmosphere at over 17,000 mph. The Canadian Space Agency package is expected to be placed in orbit 14 minutes after liftoff.
Space Explorations is also working on launch vehicle configurations which can be recovered and recycled for more launches.