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SpaceX launches satellite for Turkmenistan

SpaceX launches satellite for Turkmenistan
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first-ever Turkmenistan satellite lights up the sky over the Cape Canaveral. (Craig Rubadoux / Florida Today / AP)

Elon Musk's aerospace start-up SpaceX successfully launched a communications satellite for the government of Turkmenistan from Cape Canaveral in Florida late Monday afternoon.

A thick cover of clouds repeatedly delayed the launch before the company’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 4:03 PDT.

The rocket carried what will be the first satellite operated by the Central Asian nation. And it was the second launch in two weeks for the Hawthorne-based SpaceX.

The company has been attempting to make space history by landing the rocket's first stage on an ocean barge so that it can be used again. Executives said they would not try to recover the first stage on this launch because the flight will require all the rocket's fuel to get the satellite into its geostationary orbit.

Musk said last week that the company's next attempt to land the rocket's first stage will be in June.

Follow me on Twitter @MelodyPetersen

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