UPDATE: According to multiple sources, the CASSIOPE satellite and all secondary payloads have deployed successfully. By any standards, SpaceX has had an exceptional day.
The inaugural flight of the new SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 began with an on-time liftoff at 9:00 AM PDT this morning. With no holds, or apparent issues of any sort, the latest version of the Falcon 9, powered by 9 first stage Merlin 1-D engines arranged in a new “octaweb” pattern, clawed its way into the sky from the Vandenberg pad on its mission to deploy MDA Corporation’s CASSIOPE satellite. With launch video dropping in and out of coverage, the booster successfully completed all stages of flight, including fairing separation, before passing out of signal range. Although no other details are available yet, SpaceX did confirm that the first stage engines successfully re-ignited in an effort to slow the stage and achieve a soft water landing. More details as the mission unfolds.