Fifty-nine small satellites
and hosted experiments launched Wednesday at 2:35 p.m. EDT (1835 GMT) from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
The reusable Falcon booster
returned to Florida’s Space Coast for landing about eight-and-a-half minutes later.
Weather conditions were
favorable for launch from Cape Canaveral. Liftoff occurred eight minutes later than originally planned.
The Falcon 9 rocket headed
southeast from Cape Canaveral, then veered south along Florida’s east coast to place the mission’s 59 payloads into polar orbit.
The first stage fired
its nine Merlin engines for 2 minutes, 16 seconds, then separated from the Falcon upper stage to begin its return to Florida.
SpaceX launched the booster
again last June for SiriusXM, last August with a Dragon cargo capsule heading to the International Space Station, and in December with a NASA X-ray astronomy satellite.