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Triple success for 'pre-flown' SpaceX

12 Octobre 2017

The rocket is expected to release a hybrid satellite called EchoStarr 105/SES-11, which will sit in an orbit 22,000 miles above Earth as its used by two companies, EchoStar and SES.

The rocket being used for Wednesday's launch was previously used in February for an International Space Station supply mission.

About half an hour after take-off, the SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage successfully deployed its payload to its target orbit, making the mission a success for SpaceX overall.

The rocket took off on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at around 6:53 pm EDT, carrying an Airbus-built communications satellite for SES and EchoStar.

This was the third successful launch by the Hawthorne-based company using an already flown 16-story-tall booster.

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Beginning with SES-10's launch in March 2017 and BulgariaSat-1 in June 2017, SES-11 will be the third commercial reuse of a Falcon 9 in a bit less than seven months.

SpaceX is now halfway toward its goal of launching up to six pre-flown first stages this year. The rocket's first stage successfully landed moments later on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. "One of our core strategies is to offer new services that are either flat out impossible or not easily replicated by more traditional "bent pipe" and geostationary systems".

What time is the SpaceX launch? EchoStar 105/SES-11 replaces Ku-band capacity for AMC-15 and C-band capacity for AMC-18 at SES' well-established 105 degrees West orbital slot. The white rocket blasted off at 5:37 am (1237 GMT), before sunrise, from Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

The hybrid satellite is created to operate from geostationary orbit over North America for 15 years.