Rocket launch company SpaceX is modifying its ‘launch and return’ scheme for the upcoming lift-off of SES-9 on February 24.
The reason is that SES-9 has been waiting since last September for a launch. By scrapping the plan to attempt to land the re-usable first-stage portion of the rocket SpaceX will save weight and can then use all of its on-board rocket fuel to take the satellite into a higher orbit.
SES-9 weighs 5,300 kgs, and having the satellite in position is crucial to the operator’s commercial plans for this financial year. SES-9 will operate over South Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia.