SpaceX launches Canadian satellite from California

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.

The new version of Falcon 9 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base around 9 a.m.

This was the first time the private rocket maker flew the next-generation version that boasts upgraded engines designed to improve performance and deliver heavier payloads.

The rocket carried a satellite dubbed Cassiope, which has instruments to study space storms in the upper atmosphere and their potential effects on GPS navigation and radio communications.

Sunday's launch is considered a demonstration flight to test the capabilities of the improved rocket.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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