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An exterior of the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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(Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, on Tuesday delayed the launch of a rocket set to carry a commercial communications satellite into orbit, because of high winds at its Florida launch site.

Wind gusts of up to 25 mph (40 kph) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida forced SpaceX to scrub the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket that was to have put into orbit EchoStar XXIII, a commercial communications satellite for EchoStar Corporation, the privately owned company said on social network Twitter.

"Standing down due to high winds; working towards next available launch opportunity," the company messaged moments after the launch window opened.

SpaceX said it had a 2-1/2 hour window from 1:34 a.m. to launch the rocket that was to have deployed the satellite about 34 minutes after lift-off.

A backup launch window opens at 1:35 a.m. on Thursday, SpaceX said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Reuters