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SES-15, a new satellite owned by SES of Luxembourg, is scheduled to launch from French Guiana on a Russian-built Soyuz rocket today (May 18th).
Lift-off is timed for exactly 1154:43 GMT (7:54:53 a.m. EDT; 8:54:53 a.m. French Guiana time) Thursday, weather permitting. SES-15 is headed to operate from 129 degrees West although because it is an all-electric craft will take about 6 mopnths to get into position.
All systems are go for blast-off Thursday, according to Martin Halliwell, CTO at SES, in a telephone interview with trade magazine Spaceflight Now. “Everything is going fine. No issues with the spacecraft, no issues with the launch vehicle at the moment.” Halliwell said the mission holds several firsts for SES, operator of one of the largest fleets of geostationary telecom satellites.
“It’s a small Boeing 702SP, around 2.3 tonnes,” Halliwell added. “It’s fully-electrical propulsion, so that’s a first for us. The other first is it’s the first Soyuz geostationary transfer orbit launch that we’ve done in the group.”