SpaceX SES 12 launch lights up the night

SpaceX SES 12 launch lights up the night

Today's launch was SpaceX's 56th Falcon 9 rocket flight - the company's 11th flight this year and its fifth launch for Luxembourg-based telecom company SES.

SES-8, launched in December 2013, and was also launched by SpaceX and was the rocket company's first geostationary launch, and also the first communications satellite to use a Falcon 9 rocket.

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The rocket's first stage was an older Block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, but its second stage was the new Block 5 variant - the latest and final model of the rocket.

The Falcon 9 rocket soared off Launch Complex 40 at 12:45 a.m.; the launch was delayed 16 minutes because of gusty winds. The satellite will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East. The satellites will provide pay-TV operators the reliability and scalability to elevate viewing experiences by adding more content and delivering higher-quality picture quality to address the ever-increasing audience demand for high definition (HD) and Ultra HD content.

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The mass saving by using all-electric EOR technology enables SES-12 to combine two high-capacity missions, equivalent to two conventional payloads, in one spacecraft. SpaceX is in the process of transitioning to upgraded block 5 boosters that are created to make 50 to 60 flights before retirement. The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years. The client there was the satellite operator SES, with the payload being set to deliver TV and data services to customers in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

About 27 feet tall and almost 12,000 pounds heavy, Halliwell joked that the spacecraft built by Airbus Defense and Space in France hardly fit into the nose of the Falcon 9 rocket or payload fairing. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year. This has it carrying larger satellites into orbit. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets".

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