(CNN) -- The SpaceX rocket, the first commercial flight to the International Space Station, lifted off Sunday night carrying an unmanned cargo capsule.

The Falcon 9 rocket with its Dragon capsule launched on schedule at 8:35 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with an orange blaze against the black night sky. About 10 minutes into the flight, the Dragon separated from the rocket and was on its way to the station.

Mission control called it "a picture-perfect launch and a flawless flight of Falcon."

It is is the first of a dozen NASA-contracted flights to resupply the International Space Station, at a total cost of $1.6 billion.

"It's a great evening," said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell after the launch. "It's just awesome."

The launch comes nearly five months after a demonstration mission in which a Dragon capsule successfully berthed at the station and returned to Earth. Shotwell said the Sunday mission isn't "substantially different" from that flight, "with the exception that we got there once."