SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket  from Space Coast and lands it

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket Thursday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center and landed it on a droneship off the coast of Florida.

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The unmanned rocket carried the Es'hail-2 communications satellite built by Mitsubishi and owned by the nation of Qatar.

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"Es'hail-2 also features multi-transponder Ka-band capacity, providing business and government sectors with secure communications across the Middle East and North Africa region," SpaceX said in a press release.

The rocket blasted off at 3:46 p.m. when the launch window opened and deployed its payload just over 30 minutes later.

After the separation, the rocket booster returned to Earth and landed on SpaceX's "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which was waiting in the Atlantic Ocean, the aerospace company said.

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SpaceX has now landed 31 boosters and reflown 17 of them, according to Space.com, which is part of the company's plan to make spaceflight more affordable.

WFTV.com contributed to this reported.

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