An ocean-monitoring satellite that launched from the California coast has separated from its SpaceX rocket and been sent toward orbit.
With the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage and the Jason-3 satellite continuing toward orbit, SpaceX will now try to land its first stage on a floating barge in the Pacific Ocean.
Lift-off occurred as planned from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north west of Los Angeles.
The mission of the Jason-3 satellite is to continue an unbroken record of more than two decades of sea level measurements from orbit.
California-based SpaceX hopes to reduce launch costs by reusing rockets rather than having them fall into the ocean.