SpaceX sends Eutelsat telecom satellite into orbit

March 30 (UPI) -- SpaceX on Saturday launched a Falcon9 rocket supporting the Eutelstat 36D mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The rocket took off at 5:52 p.m. EST, right at the open of a two-hour time window SpaceX had previously given for launch.

The payload is a Eutelsat 36D geostationary telecommunications satellite, which is designed to provide TV broadcasting and government services to customers in Africa, Europe and parts of Asia.

About three minutes into launch, Falcon 9 separated from the payload and touched down aboard the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean at 6:01 p.m.

The second stage burner separated from the payload at 6:26 p.m.

This was the Falcon 9's 12th launch. SpaceX has said reuse of the first stage rocket is important to help lower the cost of space travel.

The first stage booster previously launched six Starlink satellite missions.