SpaceX set for Falcon 9 rocket launch

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A SpaceX rocket delivered a communications satellite to orbit during an early Monday morning launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. "All of these dynamic customer requirements can now be met with the successful launch of SES-12, which will provide incremental high performance capacity and offer greater reliability and flexibility to our customers". It will replace and augment the services now being provided on SES's NSS-6 satellite.

SpaceX was able to send the SES-12 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. The spacecraft also has a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) to provide customisable bandwidth services to SES customers.

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The satellite could help broadcast television programs directly to more than 18 Million households in the Asia-Pacific region, along with the SES-8 satellite, launched in 2013 by SpaceX.

"Airbus salutes SES' ambitions regarding innovation and responsiveness in a rapidly changing market and we acknowledge their strong support for all-electric satellite technology", said Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems.

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SpaceX was hoping to conduct additional tests of the Falcon Heavy rocket with the help of NASA. It is expected to enter service in late January or early February.

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Monday's launch comes eight years to the day when SpaceX first successfully launched its Falcon 9 from the Cape. The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years. At the moment, this figure dropped to 40%, reflecting a sharp decline in the world in the number of orders for the construction and launch of larger commercial satellites.