SpaceX Launches Satellite for SES in Its 11th Mission This Year

Adjust Comment Print

SES-12, a communication satellite today roared into space from Cape Canavera on-board SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage successfully landed during a flight in September, but was allowed to crash into the sea Monday because it's being discontinued.

The goal of the launch is for the SES-12 spacecraft to reach geostationary orbit. The window to launch the rocket opens at 12:29 a.m. Monday and last for four hours.

Musk also wants to reuse the two-stage Falon 9's upper stage and its payload fairing - the nose cone that protects satellites during launch. The weather appears favorable, with a 70 percent chance of "go" conditions.

The company intends to fly a handful more of its used Block 4 versions of the Falcon 9 rocket before fully transitioning to the Block 5 version later this summer or early fall.

SES-12 is capable of broadcasting and providing broadband data services focused on the high-growth Asia-Pacific region.

SpaceX will not launch a pair of space tourists around the moon this year as previously announced but sometime in mid-2018 or later.

SpaceX has landed these boosters 25 times, and reflown them on a dozen occasions. The satellite will be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.