A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket pierced clouds above Cape Canaveral Space Force Station early Saturday, opening off Memorial Day weekend in Space Coast style.
The 230-foot rocket launched a commercial communications satellite for Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat at 12:30 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 40.
After 37 minutes, the 10,000-pound satellite split from the rocket's second stage.
The 162-foot first stage landed on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship, SpaceX's 195th successful landing. Saturday's flight was the booster's 14th.
Arabsat's BADR-8 satellite, developed by Airbus in France, will provide TV, broadband internet, and more to the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.
It replaces the 2008 BADR-6 satellite. Saturday's Space Coast launch was the 26th of the year. If the trend continues, the region will have at least twice that amount by 2023.
Another Falcon 9 rocket will launch early Thursday, June 1. SpaceX expects to launch the rocket from Launch Complex 40 between 6 and 10 a.m. EDT.
A drone ship will dock in the Atlantic to launch the latest Starlink broadband satellites to low-Earth orbit.