A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off Friday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The rocket delivered into space the TDRS-M communications and data relay satellite for NASA.
The satellite, which was built by Boeing, will allow scientists, engineers and control room staff to access data for missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.
Visitor Bruce Tollefson said he traveled to Brevard County one day early to witness the launch.
"We are here in town to catch a cruise ship tomorrow, and the launch is this morning," he said. "I thought I would come down a little earlier and see it."
A 40-minute launch window opened at 8:03 a.m., but the rocket didn't launch until 8:29 a.m.