SpaceX recovers rocket after Radarsat launch

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LOS ANGELES (AP) SpaceX has successfully landed a Falcon 9 first stage rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, after it launched three satellites for the Canadian Space Agency's Radarsat program.

The rocket lifted off at 7:17 a.m. Wednesday and a few minutes later the first stage appeared back over the coastal base northwest of Los Angeles and descended through thick fog onto a landing zone.

The booster previously was used for a launch last march.

Deployment of the three satellites was scheduled to be completed just over an hour after liftoff.

The Radarsat satellites bounce signals off the Earth's surface to create images even during adverse weather conditions.

The images are used for a wide range of purposes, including monitoring sea ice, disaster management and agricultural and forestry management.