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Falcon 9 Rocket Heads to Space from Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch

SpaceX's inaugural mission from VAFB carries six satellites to orbit for commercial space company

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying six satellites headed to space Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the third launch from the base in eight days.

The launch of the 224-foot rocket was the first from Vandenberg for SpaceX, a commercial company with ambitious plans to ferry cargo, satellites and humans into orbit.

Liftoff came at 9 a.m. under clear blue skies at Space Launch Complex-4 on the base.

The primary purpose of the launch is to evaluate SpaceX’s flight and ground systems, processes and procedures for this inaugural space launch campaign for the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, according to base officials.

But the rocket also was carrying the satellites, which included Canada's Cassiope weather satellite.

The 30th Space Wing's 1st Air and Space Test Squadron will oversee all Vandenberg site activities for SpaceX via the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

Two other launches from Vandenberg since last Sunday involved tests of Minuteman III missiles.

Check back for updates to this story.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying six satellites heads toward space after blasting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday. (Anthony Galván III photo)

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