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SpaceX executes successful Falcon 9 launch

CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla. -- Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) completed a third successful launch of their Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 here today at 3:44 a.m. EDT, with safety and range support provided by members assigned to the 45th Space Wing.

The commander of the 45th Space Wing praised the work of all those involved in making this launch a success.

"What a pleasure to work on this mission, and we applaud SpaceX and NASA for their great work. We also praise the teamwork between our wing and all our mission partners involved in making this launch a success," said Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for this historic launch.

During the mission, the gumdrop-shaped spacecraft will rendezvous with the space station, be captured by astronauts operating a robotic arm, and offload cargo.

If successful, it will be the first time a commercial American robotic spacecraft has ever flown to the International Space Station.