Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

SpaceX prepares for Monday launch of SES-12 satellite

SpaceX prepares for Monday launch of SES-12 satellite

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched a satellite for long-time customer SES SA of Luxembourg early Monday, marking the company's 11th mission of the year. The satellite was set to be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.

Musk also wants to reuse the two-stage Falcon 9's upper stage and its payload fairing - the nose cone that protects satellites during launch.

The rocket's first stage booster has flown before, back in September when it launched the U.S. Air Force's top-secret military space plane, the X-37B.

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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.

"This is an incredibly flexible satellite that we're putting into our fleet", said John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.

Described as two satellites in one, SES-12 will provide broadcasting and broadband data services focused on the high-growth Asia-Pacific region.

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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. The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years.

"Once operational Crew Dragon missions are under way for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the Moon and return to Earth", SpaceX said in a statement. "The Airbus team has now started SES-12 Electric Orbit Raising (EOR) operations". The rocket is carrying a communications satellite. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets".

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