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Es'hail-2 was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and will be operated by Qatar's national satellite-communications company.

Earlier, Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, announced the safe arrival of Es'hail-2 satellite at the SpaceX launch facility, in preparation for the launch.

The Falcon 9 booster launching Es'hail-2 was previously used in July for the the TELSTAR 19V mission from Cape Canaveral, where it returned back to earth and stuck a landing on SpaceX's drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You, roughly 10 minutes after liftoff. A bonus for amateur radio operators in that area: A HAM transponder is part of the payload.

Despite cloudy weather, the Falcon's 9's nine Merlin 1C first stage engines flashed to life at 3.46pm EST, throttled up to full thrust and quickly pushed the 229ft-tall rocket straight up from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre atop a brilliant jet of flaming exhaust. The new satellite will provide telecommunication services to the Middle East and North Africa.

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Such reuse is key to SpaceX's effort to slash the cost of spaceflight, a breakthrough that could help humanity achieve ambitious exploration feats such as the settlement of Mars, company founder and CEO Elon Musk has said.

What is Falcon 9? This will mark the first ham radio relay in a high geostationary orbit, allowing for one-hop communication over a huge section of the globe.

To get there, the satellite's on-board propulsion system will be used to raise the low-point of the orbit and maneuver the spacecraft into the proper position to serve the Middle East.

SpaceX has now pulled off 31 first-stage landings and reflown landed boosters on 17 occasions. Television views provided by SpaceX showed the stage smoothly descending to touchdown about eight minutes and 15 seconds after liftoff. The launch took place on 15 November with the Space center of a name Kennedy in Florida.