Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

OTD in Space - June 4: Falcon 9 Rocket Reaches Orbit

OTD in Space - June 4: Falcon 9 Rocket Reaches Orbit

A SpaceX rocket delivered a communications satellite to orbit during an early Monday morning launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellite will be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.

The Falcon 9's booster previously launched the U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B spacecraft last summer.

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The goal of the launch is for the SES-12 spacecraft to reach geostationary orbit. The company intends to fly a handful more of its used Block 4 versions of the Falcon 9 rocket before fully transitioning to the Block 5 version later this summer or early fall.

The company had delayed the launch over the weekend, tweeting on Thursday that it was "standing down" a Friday morning attempt to run additional tests on the second stage booster.

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The satellite will provide direct-to-home TV, broadband and data relay services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and the Middle East, according to CBS News. SpaceX may try to recover the Falcon 9 fairings at sea, which make up the rocket's nose cone, where the payload is encased. So far, only the first stages have been landed and launched again.

Elon Musk's SpaceX announced back in February past year that, in late 2018, it would fly two paying space tourists around the Moon and back to Earth.

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