SpaceX Falcon 9 finally launches after four delays

This is the fourth time the mission has been attempted

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(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

After four delays, including one prompted by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that went too close to the shore of Cape Canaveral on Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket transporting an Italian Earth observation satellite eventually launched on Monday afternoon.

According to a SpaceX report, the two-stage rocket, carrying a Cosmo-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 satellite, took off at 6:11 p.m. on Monday.

Spectators could see the 156-foot booster, or the first stage of the rocket, detach from the cargo and plummet back to Earth, something SpaceX has performed 104 times already.

In a tweet, Elon Musk said

16 story tall rocket, traveling several times faster than a bullet, backflips & fires engines to return to launch site

The Italian Orbit Agency, the Italian Ministry of Defense, and the Italian Ministry of Education all collaborated on the deployment of the satellite into space.

According to the European Space Agency, it will monitor the Earth for emergency protection, strategic, scientific, and commercial objectives.

This is the fourth time the mission has been attempted.

A Cosmo-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 satellite was carried by the two-stage rocket.

SpaceX had to reschedule the launch for January 27 and the next two days due to bad weather.

The atmosphere cleared on Sunday, but with less than 35 seconds left on the clock ticking down, a cruise ship went too close to the ‘stay out’ zone in the waters surrounding Cape Canaveral, prompting the launch to be postponed.

Jesse Anderson, a SpaceX commentator, recounted how a cruise ship was entering the no-go zone during Sunday’s broadcast, and that the US Coast Guard was in conversation with the ship.

The Coast Guard was reported to have commenced looking into the incident.

According to Florida Today, the Coast Guard said in a comment that it is “currently investigating Sunday’s cruise ship breach and cancellation of the SpaceX launch.”

The safety of sailors at sea is our top priority, and we will continue to work with our federal, state, and local port partners to guarantee safe and navigable waterways.

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