SpaceX - Falcon 9 / SES-12 Mission patch.
June 5, 2018
Image above: After the rocket’s nine Merlin engines pass an automated health check, hold-down clamps will release the Falcon 9 booster for liftoff from pad 40.
SpaceX successfully launched the SES-12 satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) on Monday, June 4, 2018 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Liftoff occurred at 12:45 a.m. EDT. The SES-12 satellite was deployed about 32 minutes after liftoff.
Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-12 mission previously supported the OTV-5 mission from Launch Complex 39A in September 2017. SpaceX did not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.
SES 12 weighs 11,867 pounds (5,383 kilograms) with its supply of xenon propellant for the electric thrusters, while a satellite with similar capability would weigh up to 10 metric tons if it carried the customary hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants used by conventional spacecraft.
SES 12 satellite
The weight savings allowed SES to fit SES 12 on a smaller, less expensive rocket, and permitted engineers to combine two communications missions into one spacecraft. SES 12 will provide direct-to-home television broadcasts, video and data relay services, and broadband connectivity across the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific, and Australia during its 15-year mission.
Image above: The SES 12 satellite separates from the Falcon 9 rocket in a geostationary transfer orbit with a perigee of 182 miles (294 kilometers) and a targeted apogee of around 36,357 miles (58,511 kilometers), with an apogee range plus or minus approximately 300 miles (500 kilometers).
SES 12 will use its plasma jets to climb into a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator after deployment from the Falcon 9 rocket in an elliptical transfer orbit.
For more information about SES, visit: https://www.ses.com/
For more information about SpaceX, visit: http://www.spacex.com/
Images, Video, Text, Credits: SpaceX/Airbus/Spaceflight Now.com/Stephen Clark.