Busy launch schedule for SpaceX

Satellite operator SES says it expects to see its SES-11 joint-venture ‘condominium’ satellite launched on October 7th by SpaceX. SES’s satellite partner is EchoStar 105, and the two operators are sharing the same craft which will operate at 105 degrees West.

SpaceX will take care of the launch from its Pad 39A at the giant Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX will use a pre-flown (‘flight proven’) Falcon 9 rocket on a launch window that opens at 6.53pm Florida time (2.53pm GMT). The initial flight of the rocket’s first stage was on a cargo supply mission to the International Space Station in February.

Two days later, another Falcon 9 will be used some 3,000 miles West at the Vandenburg Air Force Base in California where SpaceX will loft 10 smaller satellites for communications company Iridium. Iridium has a contract for eight Falcon 9 launches to carry 75 of its satellites into low Earth orbit. Two of the missions, each with 10 satellites, blasted off successfully in January and June.

SpaceX’s next planned launch will be in late October when it will lift KoreaSat-5A into orbit.

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