The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, launched by SpaceX and carrying NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite, lifts off from launch pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 11, 2015.
Michael Berrigan—Reuters
By TIME Video
Updated: February 11, 2015 5:45 PM ET | Originally published: February 10, 2015

SpaceX successfully launched its first deep-space mission Wednesday evening, after two aborted launches in recent days.

The company’s Falcon 9 rocket deployed a satellite that will eventually take up position almost a million miles from Earth, where it will watch for incoming solar storms.

Founder Elon Musk hopes to land the Falcon on a floating barge off the Florida coast. SpaceX’s previous attempt to make that soft landing, which could dramatically reduce rocket launches’ cost, ended in a fiery crash.


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