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SpaceX launches Malaysian satellite
Posted: Tue, Jul 14, 2009, 7:37 AM ET (1137 GMT)
Falcon 1 launch on Flight 4 (SpaceX) A Falcon 1 rocket successfully launched a Malaysian remote sensing satellite late Monday. The Falcon 1 lifted off from Omelek Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific at 11:35 pm EDT Monday (0335 GMT Tuesday) and placed the RazakSAT spacecraft into low Earth orbit. The launch was the second successful one in a row for the Falcon 1, after the first three launches failed to place their payloads in orbit, and the first to put a functional satellite rather than a dummy payload into orbit. The 180-kilogram satellite, built by Malaysian company Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd. for the Malaysian government, carries a high-resolution camera, will operate from a near-Equatorial orbit. The launch was delayed by about four and a half hours because of a problem with a helium pressurization system as well as weather. SpaceX plans to make the first launch of its more powerful Falcon 9 launch vehicle later this year.
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