Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Luxembourg - SpaceX launches satellite for SES in its 11th mission this year

Luxembourg - SpaceX launches satellite for SES in its 11th mission this year

The launch window opens at 12:24 a.m. EDT and closes at 5:21 a.m. EDT.

It fired off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:45am BST (00:45 ET) and successfully deployed the SES-12 satellite 32 minutes after lift-off.

The satellite is created to expand SES' capabilities to deliver very small aperture terminal and high-throughput data connectivity and direct-to-home broadcasting services in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East.

The satellite could help beam TV programming directly to more than 18 million Asia-Pacific homes together with sister satellite SES-8, which SpaceX launched in 2013. It will replace and augment the services now being provided on SES' NSS-6 satellite.

"We believe around there are 1 billion people in the Asia-Pacific market that still don't have good connectivity to the devices you're all holding in your hands right now", John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks, told reporters before the launch.

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The SES-12 satellite is able to carry more communications loads as it carries very little chemical fuel, which is used by most spacecraft to maneuver and hold their positions. It is equipped with an electric motor that will be used for maneuvering in orbit. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets".

SpaceX made no attempt to recover the earlier-generation "block 4" first stage, which was limited to only two flights. SpaceX is in the process of transitioning to upgraded block 5 boosters that are created to make 50 to 60 flights before retirement.

But according to the SpaceX officials, this launch has been postponed to 4th June quoting the need to reexamine the Falcon 9 rocket and testing it further to secure safe hurling of the communications satellite SES-12. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year.

In January, the same newspaper reported that the National Board of the US on Aeronautics and research of space administration (NASA) postpones until spring 2019 start of regular manned flight spacecraft developed by SpaceX and Boeing.

Nighttime launches are always spectacular because of the bright light cast by a rocket lifting off, even more so if skies are clear. Download the 10 News app now.

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