Watch a replay of the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral shortly after midnight Monday with the SES 12 communications satellite. The satellite will be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.
Monday's launch comes eight years to the day when SpaceX first successfully launched its Falcon 9 from the Cape.
No attempt was made to recover the pre-flown first stage.
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The rocket lifted off at 12:45 a.m. and is the second flight for the launcher's first stage, Space.com reports. This is the latest satellite SES has launched to that orbital position where it will operate under the authority of the Netherlands.
"It's big", said Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES, of the satellite. The decline primarily reflects a continuing global slump in manufacturing orders and launch contracts for large commercial satellites. The client there was the satellite operator SES, with the payload being set to deliver TV and data services to customers in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
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. SpaceX is in the process of transitioning to upgraded block 5 boosters that are created to make 50 to 60 flights before retirement. SES-12 is designed for an operational life of some 15 years. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. "And satellite is one of the (ways) - and sometimes the only way - to connect.to those markets".