SpaceX launches communications satellite

Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX

GETTYElon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX

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.

A large commercial satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket flew for the second time following a blast on Monday at Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX had already used the rocket's first booster stage to launch the US Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle back in September. SpaceX won't attempt to recover the first stage after Monday's launch.

SES-12, the most powerful all-electric satellite ever, was successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 4th June.

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.

Instead, the satellite will rely on electric propulsion, using pulses of xenon gas to slowly circularize its orbit around the equator over a period of months.

Engineers and technicians with SpaceX are presently assessing the health and resiliency of that booster to ensure that these Block 5 variants can be flown multiple times without significant refurbishment.

Commenting on the launch, Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES said, "More content". The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years.

SES-12, which is uniquely designed with state-of-the-art wide beams and high throughput beams, will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East to meet the diverse needs of video, fixed data, mobility and government customers across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Industry projections show a five-fold increase in aircraft use of satellite communications services over the next five years, a doubling of maritime users and up to a million or more additional "connected enterprises". "And satellite is one of the (ways) - and sometimes the only way - to those markets".

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