SpaceX Launches First Commercial Satellite Into Orbit
Dec 04, 2013 19:53
After two failed attempts last week, SpaceX has successfully launched an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket. It will carry its first commercial satellite into space. Well done, Tony Stark Elon Musk.
The launch proves that the private company can deliver satellites into orbit on a budget. Musk and co now have their entry ticket into the $190 billion commercial satellite industry.
Singapore-based satellite communications provider SES contracted SpaceX to launch the $100 million SES-8 satellite. It will provide television, cable and broadband to growing markets in South Asia and Asia Pacific regions. The SES-8 is the most challenging mission to date for the company.
The rocket reached its orbit at 49,710 miles from earth after half hour from liftoff.
The first attempt was scrubbed just minutes before liftoff because engineers saw pressure fluctuations on the rocket's boost stage liquid oxygen tank. The second launch was also a failure, the autosequence halted the launch due to slower than expected thrust ramp.
But if anyone knows how to make failure a good thing, it is SpaceX's team. "Better to be paranoid and wrong," Musk tweeted.
They spent the next three days cleaning and replacing one of the generators on engine nine. Now it's up in the sky. We're guessing more to come.
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