A large commercial satellite is safely in orbit after an early Monday blastoff from Cape Canaveral atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was flying for the second time. The satellite will be deployed roughly 32 minutes after liftoff.
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Falcon 9's first stage for the SES-12 mission previously supported the OTV-5 mission from Launch Complex 39A in September 2017.
SpaceX was hoping to conduct additional tests of the Falcon Heavy rocket with the help of NASA.
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The satellite could help beam TV programming directly to more than 18 million Asia-Pacific homes together with sister satellite SES-8, which SpaceX launched in 2013. The satellites will provide pay-TV operators the reliability and scalability to elevate viewing experiences by adding more content and delivering higher-quality picture quality to address the ever-increasing audience demand for high definition (HD) and Ultra HD content.
The SES-12 spacecraft was built by Airbus Defence and Space and will deliver high-speed data across Asia and the Pacific.
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Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES, said at a pre-launch press conference last week: 'The first stage is a Block 4, and the upper stage is a Block 5'. Instead, the satellite will have an electric drive that uses xenon gas pulses to slowly circulate its orbit around the equator for a period of months. SpaceX is switching to a new and improved line of boosters, and so made no effort to recover this one. The good side of all this is it actually extends our (on orbit) life capability from 15 to 22 years.