SpaceX launches new communication satellite for Asia

PTI Washington | Updated on December 04, 2013

Falcon 9 and SES-8 liftoff. Photo: SpaceX webpage

A new communication satellite which will provide television and cable TV services to countries such as India and China has been successfully launched aboard the first commercial rocket by private US company SpaceX, after two delays.

The new 3.2-tonne SES-8 satellite launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and will provide TV and communications coverage for the South Asia and Asia Pacific regions.

The satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit, meaning it will orbit at a fixed point above Earth, in sync with the Earth’s rotation.

The California based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully completed its first geostationary transfer mission, delivering the SES-8 satellite to its targeted 295 x 80,000 km orbit.

Falcon 9’s flight met 100 per cent of mission objectives, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40).

The satellite was built for satellite operator SES to serve its growing customer base in India and South East Asia.

The launch was originally scheduled for early this year, but has been delayed by technical issues with the rocket.

Approximately 185 seconds into flight, Falcon 9’s second stage’s single Merlin vacuum engine ignited to begin a five minute, 20 second burn that delivered the SES-8 satellite into its parking orbit.

Eighteen minutes after injection into the parking orbit, the second stage engine relit for just over one minute to carry the SES-8 satellite to its final geostationary transfer orbit.

“The successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite confirms the upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers to the industry’s highest performance standards,” said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX.

“We appreciate SES’s early confidence in SpaceX and look forward to launching additional SES satellites in the years to come,” Musk said in a statement.

SpaceX has nearly 50 launches on manifest, of which over 60 per cent are for commercial customers.

Published on December 04, 2013

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