Running four days late because of unspecified technical issues, the previously flown Falcon 9's first-stage engines ignited at 12:45 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), generating a torrent of fiery exhaust and thick clouds of steam before vaulting away from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has extended the date of the launch of a commercial communications satellite named SES-12 to June 4, 2018.
The powerful, hefty SES satellite, weighing in at 12,000 pounds (5,400 kilograms), will provide TV and data coverage across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.
SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said, in an emailed statement to Agence France-Presse, that the company "is still planning to fly private individuals around the moon and there is growing interest from many customers". The satellite will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East.
"We believe there are one billion people in the Asia-Pacific market who still do not have good connectivity to the devices they hold in their hands", said John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets".
Notably, the Falcon 9 is a 230 feet long rocket, which will carry a communication satellite atop. It is equipped with an electric motor that will be used for maneuvering in orbit. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year.
With the SES-12 mission in the books, SpaceX completed its 11th launch in just over five months this year.
No attempt was made to land the booster after its second flight. SpaceX is in the process of transitioning to upgraded block 5 boosters that are created to make 50 to 60 flights before retirement.
SpaceX successfully launched a rocket into the night sky about a half hour after midnight Monday morning, deploying a European company's satellite, SES 12, with no apparent problems.