Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SpaceX Successfully Lands Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket, Launches Satellite


UPDATE: SpaceX successfully launched an EchoStar 105/SES-11 communication satellite into Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit and completed the 18th successful landing of a Falcon 9 first stage rocket.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying an EchoStar 105/SES-11 communication satellite is scheduled to liftoff at 6:53 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Launch Weather 90% 'GO'

According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is a 90% chance of favorable weather for the launch. The primary concern is cumulus clouds.

Attempted Landing On Drone Ship

Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt a landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship. 

But a successful landing after launch may be difficult because the Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude than other recovered missions. 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.

Third Launch Of 'Flight-Proven' (Reused) Falcon 9

This will be SpaceX's third launch of a reused first stage rocket. This Falcon 9 first stage rocket previously launched the CRS-10 mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 19, 2017.

Payload

EchoStar 105/SES-11, a high-powered hybrid Ku and C-band communications satellite, is a dual-mission satellite for US-based operator EchoStar and Luxembourg-based operator SES.

EchoStar 105/SES-11 provides EchoStar with 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz, marketed as EchoStar 105, while it provides SES with a C-band payload of 24 transponders, marketed under the name SES-11. 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.

EchoStar 105 was tailored to meet the Ku-band capacity needs of EchoStar’s enterprise, media and broadcast, and U.S. government service provider customers, offering coverage of the 50 U.S. states and expanded reach to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

SES-11, designed to accelerate the development of SES’s U.S. prime video neighborhood and optimized for digital television delivery, joins SES-1 and SES-3 at the center of SES's robust North American orbital arc, which reaches more than a hundred million TV homes. It also replaces C-band capacity for AMC-18, which SES offers over North America, including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, empowering businesses and governments to capture new opportunities and expand their reach.