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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A SpaceX rocket carrying a Canadian satellite intended to track space weather launched from the California coast Sunday in what was billed as a test flight.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, at 9 a.m. under clear skies, eventually reaching its intended orbit.
SpaceX launched an older model of Falcon 9 five times from Florida. This was the first time the Southern California-based private rocket maker flew the next-generation version that boasts upgraded engines designed to improve performance and deliver heavier payloads.
The rocket carried a satellite dubbed Cassiope, a project of the Canadian Space Agency and other partners.
Once in orbit, scientists led by the University of Calgary hope to start powering up instruments after a checkout period, but the actual mission to track space…
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