Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Pre-Flown SpaceX Rocket Introduces the Commercial Communications Satellite

Pre-Flown SpaceX Rocket Introduces the Commercial Communications Satellite

It is the 10th time Space X will reuse a rocket.

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.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rests on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 5, 2018, ahead of its demonstration mission. To derive the orbit of a geostationary satellite SES-12.

The older Block 4 model has been limited to two flights and is not being recovered to make room for the new rockets.

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.

SpaceX readied a Falcon 9 rocket for launch early Monday to boost a powerful SES communications satellite into orbit, providing direct-to-home video, high-speed data relay, broadband, maritime and aircraft connectivity across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and the Middle East. At that altitude and equatorial orientation, satellites take 24 hours to complete one orbit and thus appear stationary in the sky as the Earth rotates.

Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES, said at a pre-launch press conference last week: 'The first stage is a Block 4, and the upper stage is a Block 5'. "We're actually going to an apogee around about 58,000 kilometers".

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.

SES-12 is capable of supporting requirements in multiple verticals from Cyprus in the West to Japan in the East, and from Russian Federation in the North to Australia in the South.

And satellite internet service promises to grow at an equally astronomical rate.

"We believe there are one billion people in the Asia-Pacific market who still do not have good connectivity to the devices they hold in their hands", said John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.

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

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