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SES-10 ready for flight on ‘pre-flown’ SpaceX

January 19, 2017

By Chris Forrester

As expected, SES-10 will be launched by SpaceX on one of its ‘pre-flown’ and recovered first-stage Falcon 9 rockets.

SES-10, owned by SES of Luxembourg and built by Airbus Defence & Space, has been shipped from France to the Cape Canaveral SpaceX pre-launch and preparation site at Kennedy Space Centre where it will be readied for orbiting next month. Reportedly the launch could take place as early as February 22nd, although this has not been confirmed.

Local reports suggest that SpaceX will use Launch Pad 39A at the NASA complex in Florida, which has been modified by SpaceX to handle its commercial launches. SpaceX’s normal Pad 40 is still undergoing repair after the catastrophic explosion of a rocket and which destroyed its Amos-6 satellite on September 1st last yeart.

This particular pre-flown stage was used by SpaceX back in April 2016 when it lofted a cargo mission to the International Space Station and following the launch was landed onto a SpaceX floating barge in a highly-successful operation.

To date, SpaceX has recovered 7 of these rocket stages in total, each worth many millions of dollars. Engineers and technicians then overhaul the 47-metre (156 ft) recovered rockets for re-use.

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