Launching for the second time in five weeks, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Monday and successfully put a broadcasting satellite in a high-altitude for a Thai communications operator.

Read our full story.

And don't miss these dazzling photos from remote cameras at the launch pad!

2259 GMT (5:59 p.m. EST)
SpaceX has delivered Thaicom 6 to its target orbit!
2253 GMT (5:53 p.m. EST)
Sources are saying the Falcon 9 rocket was successful in its launch of Thaicom 6!
2247 GMT (5:47 p.m. EST)
SpaceX officials have left our viewing location at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station without updating media on the outcome of today's mission. Thaicom 6 deployment should have occurred 10 minutes ago after restart of the Falcon 9 second stage.
2247 GMT (5:47 p.m. EST)
SpaceX officials have left our viewing location at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station without updating media on the outcome of today's mission. Thaicom 6 deployment should have occurred 10 minutes ago after restart of the Falcon 9 second stage.
2237 GMT (5:37 p.m. EST)
At this point in the flight, the second stage should have re-ignited its engine for a brief burn lasting just over a minute. The stage would have then re-oriented for deployment of the Thaicom 6 satellite about now.

SpaceX officials have made no announcement yet.

2218 GMT (5:18 p.m. EST)
The webcast has concluded now that the Falcon 9 is in a parking orbit. Re-ignition of the upper stage should occur at about 5:33 p.m. EST (2233 GMT) for a burn of just over one minute.

Separation of the Thaicom 6 satellite will come at 5:37 p.m. EST (2237 GMT).

We expect an update from SpaceX soon after those milestones are achieved.

2215 GMT (5:15 p.m. EST)
Second stage shutdown! Falcon 9 has achieved a preliminary parking orbit with a high point of 497 kilometers and a low point of 197 kilometers. SpaceX officials say that is close to prelaunch predictions.
2214 GMT (5:14 p.m. EST)
T+plus 8 minutes. About 30 seconds until the second stage Merlin engine is supposed to shut down as the vehicle reaches orbit. The rocket is aiming for an initial parking orbit with Thaicom 6, and it will re-ignite later to boost the satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit reaching 90,000 kilometers (55,923 miles) above Earth.
2213 GMT (5:13 p.m. EST)
T+plus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. The vehicle remains in a nominal trajectory. Downrange distance is approximately 1,200 kilometers, and the Falcon 9 is flying east of Cape Canaveral.
2212 GMT (5:12 p.m. EST)
T+plus 6 minutes. The kerosene-fueled Merlin 1D upper stage engine generates about 161,000 pounds of thrust in vacuum.
2211 GMT (5:11 p.m. EST)
T+plus 5 minutes, 25 seconds. Everything reported to be going well with this second stage engine firing. The Merlin vacuum engine uses an ultra-thin niobium nozzle extension for greater efficiency in the upper atmosphere.

Altitude is 160 kilometers, downrange distance is 582 kilometers, and velocity is 3.8 kilometers per second.

2209 GMT (5:09 p.m. EST)
T+plus 3 minutes, 55 seconds. The SpaceX-built 5.2-meter diameter payload fairing has separated.
2209 GMT (5:09 p.m. EST)
T+plus 3 minutes. The Falcon 9 first stage engines have cut off, the stages have separated, and the rocket's second stage Merlin vacuum engine has ignited for its approximately six-minute firing to reach orbital velocity.
2208 GMT (5:08 p.m. EST)
T+plus 2 minutes. Now soaring at an altitude of more than 20 miles, the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage will shut down and jettison in about one minute. Two engines will be turned off first, followed a few moments later by the remaining seven engines.

And chilldown of the second stage's vacuum-rated Merlin 1D engine should be starting in preparation for its ignition.

2207 GMT (5:07 p.m. EST)
T+plus 1 minute. The Falcon 9 rocket is approaching the speed of sound and the phase of maximum aerodynamic pressure.
2206 GMT (5:06 p.m. EST)
T+plus 30 seconds. The Falcon 9 rocket's pitch program has initiated to put the 224-foot-tall rocket on an easterly trajectory from Cape Canaveral.
2206 GMT (5:06 p.m. EST)
LIFTOFF of the Falcon 9 rocket with Thaicom 6, boosting a telecommunications satellite to serve Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
2205 GMT (5:05 p.m. EST)
T-minus 60 seconds. In the final minute of the countdown, the flight computer will command checks of the first stage Merlin engine steering system and the Falcon 9 propellant tanks will be pressurized for flight. Thousands of gallons of water from the ground facility's Niagara system will also be dumped onto the launch pad deck to suppress the sound and acoustics of liftoff.

The command to start the ignition sequence for the first stage will be issued at T-minus 3 seconds, triggering the Merlin engines' ignitor moments before the powerplants actually ramp up to full power.

2204 GMT (5:04 p.m. EST)
T-minus 90 seconds and counting. The SpaceX launch director and the Air Force Eastern Range have given their final approvals for liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT).
2204 GMT (5:04 p.m. EST)
T-minus 2 minutes and counting. The rocket's Merlin 1D engines have been chilled down for ignition.
2203 GMT (5:03 p.m. EST)
T-minus 2 minutes, 30 seconds. The strongback has been locked in to launch position.
2203 GMT (5:03 p.m. EST)
T-minus 3 minutes and counting. The rocket's destruct system is on internal power and being armed, and liquid oxygen topping is being terminated.

The strongback has retracted into the launch position more than 20 degrees from the rocket.

The second stage thrust vector steering system has checked out and is ready for flight.

2201 GMT (5:01 p.m. EST)
T-minus 5 minutes and counting. The cradles connecting the strongback to the Falcon 9 rocket have opened.
2200 GMT (5:00 p.m. EST)
T-minus 6 minutes and counting. The Falcon 9 rocket is now operating on internal power.

The strongback umbilical tower will soon be lowered a few degrees to clear the rocket for launch. The procedure begins with opening of cradles gripping the rocket at attach points, then hydraulics lower the tower into launch position.

2159 GMT (4:59 p.m. EST)
T-minus 6 minutes, 30 seconds. The Falcon 9's heaters are being deactivated, and the rocket will be transitioned to internal power in a few seconds.
2159 GMT (4:59 p.m. EST)
T-minus 7 minutes and counting. Within the next minute, the Falcon 9's flight computer will be commanded to its alignment state. The Merlin engine pumps are continuing to chill down.

The launch danger area around Cape Canaveral is clear for launch.

2158 GMT (4:58 p.m. EST)
T-minus 8 minutes and counting. Good chilldown continues on the first stage engines, and closeouts of the upper stage's gaseous nitrogen attitude control system are underway.
2157 GMT (4:57 p.m. EST)
T-minus 9 minutes and counting. Prevalves leading to the Falcon 9's Merlin 1D first stage engines are opening, permitting super-cold liquid oxygen to flow into the engines to condition the turbopumps for ignition.
2156 GMT (4:56 p.m. EST)
T-minus 10 minutes and counting. The terminal countdown autosequence has started. Any hold after this point will result in an automatic abort and recycle to T-minus 13 minutes.
2154 GMT (4:54 p.m. EST)
T-minus 12 minutes. The launch team has verified all consoles are go for liftoff at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT).

All systems on the rocket and the Thaicom 6 satellite, along with weather, are GO for launch.

2151 GMT (4:51 p.m. EST)
T-minus 15 minutes and counting. Here are some statistics on today's launch:
2149 GMT (4:49 p.m. EST)
T-minus 17 minutes and counting. The Falcon 9 rocket stands 224 feet tall and measures 12 feet in diameter. At liftoff, its nine Merlin 1D first stage engines will generate about 1.3 million pounds of thrust.

Keep up with the launch sequence with this timeline of key events during the Falcon 9's ascent to orbit.

2146 GMT (4:46 p.m. EST)
T-minus 20 minutes and counting. The final poll of the 20-person launch team will begin at T-minus 13 minutes before the countdown enters the final phase.
2145 GMT (4:45 p.m. EST)
Liquid oxygen topping continues on the Falcon 9 rocket's first and second stages. The first stage is filled with about 850,000 pounds of propellant, and the second stage is loaded with about 200,000 pounds. Both stages burn RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen.
2140 GMT (4:40 p.m. EST)
See our Facebook page for quick images of today's countdown and launch!
2136 GMT (4:36 p.m. EST)
T-minus 30 minutes. Today's launch is heading for a "supersynchronous" transfer orbit with an apogee, or high point, of 90,000 kilometers (55,923 miles) and a perigee, or low point, of 295 kilometers (183 miles). The target inclination is 22.5 degrees.

The 6,649-pound Thaicom 6 satellite is destined for a slot 22,300 miles above the equator in geostationary orbit at 78.5 degrees east longitude, where its Ku-band and C-band payload will beam direct-to-home television broadcasts and other services to Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and surrounding regions for 15 years.

Today's mission marks the second SpaceX Falcon 9 launch with a satellite heading for a geostationary transfer orbit after the Dec. 3 launch with the SES 8 communications satellite.. Such an orbit requires two burns of the Falcon 9's upper stage Merlin 1D engine, first to place the satellite into a low-altitude parking orbit, then to raise its apogee to geostationary altitude or higher.

2127 GMT (4:27 p.m. EST)
SpaceX's webcast of the launch has begun.
2106 GMT (4:06 p.m. EST)
T-minus 60 minutes. Skies are mostly cloudy over Cape Canaveral, but all weather conditions are currently observed GO for launch at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT). There is now a 10 percent chance of weather violating one of the Falcon 9's weather rules.

Weather balloons are being launched throughout the countdown to monitor winds aloft.

1930 GMT (2:30 p.m. EST)
Kerosene and liquid oxygen are being pumped aboard the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket. Both stages burn the mix of liquid propellants to fuel 10 Merlin 1D engines.

SpaceX says the webcast of today's launch will begin at 4:25 p.m. EST (2125 GMT), about 41 minutes prior to liftoff, and continue through the first cutoff of the second stage engine about 10 minutes into the mission.

We will have the live webcast on this page.

If you are heading out to the beach or Port Canaveral to watch the launch, sign up for our Twitter feed to get occasional countdown updates on your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)

And if you are need tips on picking a good viewing spot, check out this authoritative guide on where to go.

1710 GMT (12:10 p.m. EST)
The latest weather forecast issued this morning still shows an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff in a 122-minute launch window opening at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT).

"Today, a cold front will pass through the spaceport, bringing strong northwesterly winds and plunging temperatures. Mid- and upper-level clouds associated with the front will not clear instantly after frontal passage, and may linger through the launch window," meteorologists wrote in a forecast summary.

The primary concerns are for ground winds and thick clouds.

The outlook calls for scattered clouds at 2,500 feet and 10,000 feet, along with a broken cloud deck at 28,000 feet. Winds will be out of the northwest at 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph, with a launch time temperature predicted to be 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the launch gets delayed to Tuesday, the forecast also calls for an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions then.

1630 GMT (11:30 a.m. EST)
Technicians rolled the Falcon 9 rocket to the launch pad overnight, using hydraulics to lift the 224-foot-tall booster on its launch mount at Cape Canaveral's Complex 40.

Workers then began plugging into electrical and propellant lines ahead of the start of the countdown today.

No problems are reported at this stage in the launch preparations. Fueling of the two-stage rocket with RP-1 fuel -- a highly-refined kerosene -- and liquid oxygen should begin shortly after 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT).

The rocket is one of the tallest in the world. The Falcon 9's first and second stages measure 12 feet in diameter, and the SpaceX-built payload fairing housing the Thaicom 6 communications satellite is 17 feet in diameter (5.2 meters) and 43 feet tall.

Check out photos of the rocket on the launch pad this morning.

Today's flight marks the eighth launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since debuting in June 10. It's the third mission of the improved Falcon 9 v1.1 version, which made its inaugural launch in September from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The launch of Thaicom 6 also marks the quickest turnaround in the history of the Falcon 9 rocket, coming just 34 days after another launcher lifted off with the SES 8 communications satellite.

For details on the Falcon 9 v1.1, here is part of our story on the rocket stemming from an interview with SpaceX boss Elon Musk in September:

Musk said the redesigned Falcon 9 is the prototype for a reusable rocket SpaceX envisions could drastically reduce launch costs, decreasing the price of a Falcon 9 flight even lower than SpaceX's advertised rate, which undercuts competing rockets, such as the Russian Proton and Europe's Ariane 5 launcher.

It is this version of the Falcon 9 that SpaceX hopes will safely deliver astronauts to orbit on the way to the space station, beginning as soon as 2017.

Reliability is paramount in the launch business, and cost and schedule are right behind in a matrix of concerns for rocket buyers.

Musk said SpaceX answered these appeals, and added power and efficiency to the Falcon 9's Merlin engines to loft heftier payloads into higher orbits.

SpaceX engineers installed a triple-redundant flight computer in the Falcon 9 rocket, adding another level of confidence in the launcher's avionics. They also wrote new software for the computer, which is based on a flight-proven unit from SpaceX's Dragon cargo-carrying space station freighter.

"You could put a bullet hole in any one of the avionics boxes and it would just keep flying," Musk said.

Designers adjusted the connection points between the Falcon 9's first and second stages, replacing nine hardware interfaces and three spring-like pusher elements - pneumatic devices which ensure stage separation occurs - with three connectors with integrated pushers.

"We go from 12 things that can go wrong to three at the point of staging," Musk said.

The Falcon 9 v1.1 is powered by 10 Merlin 1D engines - nine on the first stage and one on the second stage - each generating 147,000 pounds of sea level thrust. The vacuum-rated upper stage engine, sporting a niobium nozzle to radiate engine heat, produces 161,000 pounds of thrust once out of the atmosphere.

The Merlin 1C engine, used on all five of the Falcon 9's previous missions, was capable of firing with 95,000 pounds of thrust at sea level.

Along with greater performance, the Merlin 1D is easier to manufacture thanks to high-efficiency processes, increased robotic construction and a reduced parts count, according to SpaceX's press kit.

SpaceX upgraded the propellant injection system inside the Merlin 1D, replacing two valves dedicated to fuel and oxidizer with a single unit to improve reliability and save weight.

Musk said the Merlin 1D engine weighs in at less than 1,000 pounds.

"If we don't have the world record for thrust-to-weight ratio, we're very close," Musk said.

Musk's rocket team modified the engine arrangement on the first stage, an effort he said allows engineers to remove aerodynamic manifolds around the perimeter of the rocket.

Earlier Falcon 9s featured a square "tic-tac-toe" layout of the nine first stage engines arrayed in a three-by-three pattern. The Falcon 9 v1.1 uses what SpaceX calls an "octaweb" design, with eight engines surrounding a center engine in a circular pattern.

According to Musk, engineers installed ablative bumpers between the engines to prevent a mishap with one engine from damaging another.

The first stage upgrades also include a heat shield and stretched propellant tanks for the Merlin engines' supply of kerosene and liquid oxygen.

"We put a stronger heat shield at the base of the rocket to better enable the first stage to survive the high dynamic pressure on re-entry," Musk said.

The new Falcon 9 first stage is 60 percent longer but has the same diameter as the Falcon 9's previous version, permitting the rocket to be fabricated with the same tooling already inside SpaceX's rocket factory in Hawthorne, Calif.

SpaceX engineers at Cape Canaveral are finishing up preparations to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with a communications satellite for Thailand on Monday, just over one month after the Falcon 9's last mission from Florida.

Read our full story.

The forecast for Monday's launch window continues to show an 80 percent chance of favorable weather.

Air Force meteorologists amended their outlook to add more high-altitude clouds. The forecast now calls for broken clouds at 28,000 feet, northwest winds at 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots, a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and good visibility.

"Southeasterly winds today will become southwesterly Sunday bringing warm and showery conditions into Central Florida with a very slight chance for lightning. By midday Monday, a cold front will pass through the spaceport, bringing strong northwesterly winds and plunging temperatures," the forecasters wrote. "Clouds in the mixed-phase zone between 13,000 and 25,000 feet should clear by launch time, but upper level clouds may remain."

Less clouds and lighter winds are predicted Tuesday, with just a 10 percent chance of violating weather rules if the launch gets delayed 24 hours.

The weather forecast for SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Monday calls for blustery conditions, but winds are predicted to remain below the rocket's launch constraint.

The Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base issued an outlook Friday forecasting mostly sunny skies but gusty winds during Monday's launch window, which opens at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT) and extends more than two hours.

"The current cold snap will quickly rebound as the winds swing on shore by Saturday morning creating a slight morning coastal shower threat," Air Force meteorologists wrote in a forecast synopsis. "Winds continue veering around to the south and eventually southwest by Sunday evening as another cold front approaches, adding a slight chance of lightning over Central Florida. The cold front moves south by Monday morning, ushering in clearing conditions, strong winds and much colder temperatures."

The forecast calls for a few clouds at 28,000 feet, northwest winds at 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots, a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and good visibility.

There is a 20 percent chance ground winds will prevent launch during the more than two-hour window by exceeding the Falcon 9 weather rule, which is approximately 30 knots.

Forecasters expect cooler conditions Tuesday with diminished winds, predicting a 10 percent chance the winds would prevent launch during an attempt Tuesday.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Thai communications satellite from Friday until at least Monday, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force did not disclose the cause of the delay, but one source said engineers are studying an issue with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Liftoff is now set for no earlier than Monday, according to a brief statement emailed by a 45th Space Wing spokesperson. The Air Force's 45th Space Wing operates communications and safety systems for all launches out of Cape Canaveral.

Backup launch opportunities are available from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12. A launch would not be possible Tuesday because the SpaceX mission shares a tracking station in Bermuda with the Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket set for launch Tuesday from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on a resupply flight to the International Space Station.

The Falcon 9 rocket is slated to loft the Thaicom 6 communications satellite into a high-altitude egg-shaped supersynchronous transfer orbit.

The satellite, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., will provide broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific with improved television quality and additional high-definition channels, according to Thaicom. It carries 18 C-band and eight Ku-band transponders connected to three antennas.