SpaceX launches 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 completed its 11th mission of the year when it sent an SES-12 communications satellite into space on June 4.

SES has announced that its SES-12 satellite was successfully launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US. According to the mission's press kit, the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage will deploy the satellite 32 minutes and 14 seconds after liftoff. The first stage is part of the Falcon 9 Block 4 build, which is an older variant that SpaceX is phasing out. SES-12 will join SES's network of seven geostationary satellites and 16 MEO satellites across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The satellites will provide pay-TV operators the reliability and scalability to elevate viewing experiences by adding more content and delivering higher-quality picture quality to address the ever-increasing audience demand for high definition (HD) and Ultra HD content. Instead, the satellite will have an electric drive that uses xenon gas pulses to slowly circulate its orbit around the equator for a period of months.

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The SES-12 satellite is able to carry more communications payloads because it carries very little of the chemical fuel most spacecraft use to maneuver and hold their positions.

SpaceX won't land the booster again. SES-12 is designed for an operational life of some 15 years. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year.

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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 of the (ways) - and sometimes the only way - to connect.to those markets".

"If you take all those numbers together, this is really exciting for us", he said.

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