Monday, 18 June, 2018

SpaceX SES 12 launch lights up the night

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
Cary Marshall | 07 June, 2018, 02:15

However, this time the company would not be attempting to retrieve the first stage of the rocket.

The last launch the Falcon 9's first stage embarked on happened in September a year ago; the booster launched the U.S Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane.

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 launch was, of course, the highlight of the event but the breathtaking photos that followed were the real winners. This is the latest satellite SES has launched to that orbital position where it will operate under the authority of the Netherlands.

"The launch vehicle is expendable", said Martin Halliwell, chief technical officer for SES.

SpaceX will not send tourists around the Moon this year as previously announced, and will delay the project until the middle of next year, USA media reported on Monday.

More news: Google reportedly not renewing contract for Project Maven drone program

The 12,000-pound SES-12 spacecraft, built by Airbus Defence and Space, will deliver high-speed data to across Asia and the Pacific.

Notably, the Falcon 9 is a 230 feet long rocket, which will carry a communication satellite atop.

Monday's launch was delayed three days so SpaceX could perform more tests on the Falcon 9's upper stage, which was the newer Block 5 version. The Block 5 variant of the rocket, optimized for reusability, has flown a single time, on May 11. The BFR is the rocket that SpaceX wants to use to get to Mars, and to make extremely quick Earth-to-Earth journeys. SpaceX is switching to a new and improved line of boosters, and so made no effort to recover this one.

The launch was originally scheduled for early Wednesday morning, and then postponed again to early Friday. The 4 hours launch window was opened at near about 12:29 a.m. ET.

Musk has referred to the Block 5 as the "finished version" of SpaceX's Falcon 9, as it has been created to endure up to 100 flights in a single lifespan.

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