Calif.-based SpaceX launches satellite

July 15, 2009 1:16:29 PM PDT
California-based Space Exploration Technologies has conducted its second successful rocket launch, putting an Earth-observing satellite into orbit for Malaysia.The company says its two-stage Falcon 1 rocket lifted off late Monday PDT from the Kwajalein Atoll, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Spokeswoman Cassie Kloberdanz said Tuesday that the rocket's stage separation and deployment of the satellite went perfectly. Known as SpaceX, the Hawthorne company is developing new rockets with a goal of increased reliability at lower cost.

Last year it won a NASA contract to supply the international space station.

SpaceX has had three launches that did not reach orbit. Its first successful launch was last September.