SpaceX to launch SES-12 communications satellite

GETTYA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a TESS spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral in April

GETTYA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a TESS spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral in April

SpaceX launched a satellite for longtime customer SES SA of Luxembourg early Monday, marking the company's 11th mission of the year.

SES-12, the 13th satellite built by Airbus for SES, has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 04 June.

Falcon 9's first stage for the SES-12 mission previously supported the OTV-5 mission from Launch Complex 39A in September 2017. The original plan was for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket to power the mission, but Musk said a few months ago that the company would probably use its "Big F-ing Rocket" (BFR) instead.

The rocket lifted off at 12:45 a.m. and is the second flight for the launcher's first stage, Space.com reports.

The new platform will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East and will replace and augment the services now being provided on SES' NSS-6 satellite.

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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.

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.

SpaceX has since upgraded its Falcon 9 rocket, so it did not attempt a recovery effort of the booster this time.

Commenting on the launch, Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES said, "More content". SES-12 is designed for an operational life of some 15 years.

The all-electric, state-of-the-art satellite will provide television, phone and data services for customers on the other side of the globe. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets".

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