14 months ago, the aerospace industry watched in fascination as European satellite operator SES prepared to become the first customer on a used SpaceX missile. Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at Luxembourg SES, had high confidence in the flying capabilities of the Falcon 9 rocket, but knew that there was no precedent for a large orbital missile flying for the second time.
"In the back of your mind, well, it's never been done before, will it all come at the seams?" Halliwell recalled the anniversary of the historic launch in March. "You just have to put all that emotional stuff aside, and you just have to be kind of cold, calm, collected, and tech, and we did that at the end of the day, obviously it was successful, and now it's becoming the norm for SpaceX flights. "
Earlier this year, SES is planning for the fourth time SpaceX's reputed" flight-proven "Falcon 9 booster to reuse a rocket.
Takeoff is scheduled for 12:29 am on Friday, June 1, at the opening of a more than two-hour window at takeoff complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Storming thunderclouds are designed to limit the likelihood of acceptable start weather to 40 percent According to the 45th Air Force Weather Squadron
The Falcon 9-Booster was first blown up last September by the Kennedy Space Center as it helped bring the Air Force's X-37B spacecraft into orbit.
On the 230-foot rocket, a communications satellite Haliwell called a "Brute". "
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At around £ 12,000, the SES-12 spacecraft built by Airbus Defense and Space in France is not the heaviest of its kind, but it's big and tall.
"There are basically two satellites in one," Halliwell said, describing radio and broadband satellites "melted down into a bus."
According to Airbus, the satellite is the largest and most powerful satellite fully based on electric Propulsion supports to maintain its final orbit high above the equator
The use of electric drives reduces the weight normally reserved for chemical fuels and makes the mass available for mission-related payloads.
SES-12 is the largest and, according to manufacturer Airbus Defense and Space, the most powerful all-electric propulsion satellite ever produced, with the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Friday, June 1 scheduled at 12:29 pm. (Photo: Airbus)
If you're planning on just a fraction of the thrust For example, the all-electric satellite will take months instead of days or weeks to establish itself in orbit and serve the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. 19659006] The new satellite will connect one SES satellite in orbit and replace another.
SpaceX will not try to land the Falcon 9 booster a second time.
Landing the rocket at sea after taking off such a heavy satellite was a challenge anyway. But after two flights, SpaceX has also retired older Falcon 9s in favor of an improved version that the company can say will launch ten or more times.
Customers experience some nervousness before starting, Halliwell said. The return flight of a Falcon 9 last year was no different.
"Have we done everything? Is the spaceship alright? You have a thousand different systems that you want to check," he said. "Ironically, this was one of the smoothest missions we've ever had with SpaceX, it was a great experience at the end of the day."
Contact Dean at 321-242-3668 or [email protected] And follow up on Twitter at @flatoday_jdean and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SpaceTeamGo.
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- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9 (Resurrection)
- Mission: SES-12 Communications Satellite
- Start Time: 12:29 EDT Friday
- Start Window: Up 2:57 EDT Friday
- Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base
- Landing: None
- Weather: 40 percent "Go"
Join floridatoday.com for countdown updates and chat at 11:30 pm Thursday, including streaming the SpaceX launch webcast about 15 minutes before launch.
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