SpaceX launches satellite, tries to land rocket on barge

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has another launch under its belt. The jury is still out on the rocket landing.

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at sunset Friday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It carried a broadcasting satellite for Luxembourg-based company SES. It was the fifth launch attempt over the past 1½ weeks; Sunday's try ended with an engine shutdown a split second before liftoff.

As usual, SpaceX tried to land the discarded first-stage booster. The target was a barge in the Atlantic, 400 miles offshore. The results are unknown. SpaceX didn't expect the test to succeed given the hefty, high-flying payload. The satellite is destined for a 22,300-mile-high orbit.

SpaceX scored a rocket landing at Cape Canaveral in December, but has yet to nail a trickier floating barge landing.