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SpaceX Falcon 9

SpaceX launches next-gen Falcon 9 rocket on big test flight

The private spaceflight company SpaceX launched the first of its new-and-improved Falcon 9 rockets from the California coast Sunday, an ambitious test flight that also marked the company's first flight from the West Coast.The unmanned next-generation Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from SpaceX's launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) carrying a Canadian satellite to track space weather into orbit along with three small satellites."It was an amazing flight," SpaceX's Falcon 9 product manager John Insprucker said in a launch webcast. "There's tons of data coming back and it looks like it was a picture-perfect flight. Everything was looking good right down the middle of the track." [ See launch photos for SpaceX's next-generation Falcon 9 rocket ]A large crowd of SpaceX employees was seen cheering at the company's headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, Calif., as the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket soared toward orbit.Reusable rocket test and firsts Su...

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