Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

SpaceX Successfully Launches Another Rocket

SpaceX Successfully Launches Another Rocket

SpaceX pulled off its second launch in three days Wednesday, delivering a communications satellite to orbit that will enhance digital TV services across North America.

The SES-11 satellite, built by Airbus and operated by Colorado-based EchoStar Corp., will replace old satellite technology. The rocket was previously flown for a Space Station resupply mission in February and then recovered and refurbished by SpaceX.

In this photo provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft await liftoff from NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. EchoStar-105/SES-11 separated from the rocket's upper stage roughly 36 minutes into the mission as planned. This will be the third occasion ever that Musk's company launches a "flight proven" booster, a term they use to refer to previously-flown components.

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. About seven minutes after launch, the tall portion of the Falcon 9, known as the first stage, returned to Earth for an upright landing. This means that Falcon 9's first stage rocket will becoming down faster with less fuel to slow its descent than missions to lower orbits.

SpaceX is participating in eight launches that are sending a total of 75 Iridium satellites into space, according to the Iridium statement. It'll provide Ku-band communication services through EchoStar for commercial and USA government customers, as well as high-definition and ultra-high-def video service through SES in the C-band part of the spectrum.

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

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