4 Dec 2013

Commercial satellite launched by SpaceX

1:27 pm on 4 December 2013

The SpaceX company on Tuesday successfully launched its first commercial satellite.

It is the first time the California company has put a satellite in a geostationary transfer orbit, far above the Earth.

The BBC reports two previous launch attempts were thwarted by technical glitches.

The launch of a Falcon 9 rocket took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 5.41pm on Tuesday and the SES-8 satellite was released 33 minutes later.

It will serve SES customers in India and South East Asia.

Until now, SES, a Luxembourg company, has used European Ariane rockets or the Russian Proton for its launches.

SpaceX has already sent cargo capsules to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA. The BBC reports the company has contracts worth $US4 billion for future launches.