Thirty-two minutes later, after firing of engines, the top floor of the rocket used the communications satellite SES-12, which is one of the largest and most powerful, by SES of Luxembourg.
The Falcon's first-stage booster previously flew last September. The launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., has a four-hour window that opens 12:29am ET (04:29 UTC). This is the latest satellite SES has launched to that orbital position where it will operate under the authority of the Netherlands.
"This is an incredibly flexible satellite that we're putting into our fleet", said John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.
About 27 feet tall and almost 12,000 pounds heavy, Halliwell joked that the spacecraft built by Airbus Defense and Space in France hardly fit into the nose of the Falcon 9 rocket or payload fairing.
Engineers and technicians with SpaceX are presently assessing the health and resiliency of that booster to ensure that these Block 5 variants can be flown multiple times without significant refurbishment.
The goal of the launch is for the SES-12 spacecraft to reach geostationary orbit. The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years. "The Airbus team has now started SES-12 Electric Orbit Raising (EOR) operations".
And satellite internet service promises to grow at an equally astronomical rate. "And satellite is one, and sometimes the only, way to connect 2G, 3G and 4G to those markets". "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".