SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket put Malaysia’s RazakSAT remote sensing satellite into orbit on Tuesday from a seaside launch pad in the Marshall Islands.
The launch, which occurred at 3:35 p.m. local time (8:35 p.m. PDT Monday), appeared to go flawlessly based on a live webcast. About a half hour after the rocket reached orbit, the second stage relighted and deployed the satellite into its correct orbit over the Equator.
This is the first satellite placed into orbit by the California-based start-up. In its most recent launch, Falcon 1 put the second stage of the rocket into orbit but there was no satellite aboard. Three previous launch attempts failed.
This launch marks the first time that a privately funded, liquid fueled rocket has placed a satellite into orbit.