SpaceX will tonight (October 11th, weather permitting) launch a condominium satellite operated by SES and EchoStar.
The twin-mission satellite was built by Airbus Defense & Space and will go to 105 degrees West. SES will use a portion of the craft and its C-band transponders. EchoStar will tap into the satellite’s 24 Ku-band transponders for its DTH broadcasting operation.
SpaceX is using a pre-flown (‘flight-tested’) first stage as part of its Falcon 9 rocket, and SES’s CTO Martin Halliwell – on site at the Kennedy Space Centre – told local press that the rocket was “ready to fly”. Halliwell added that SES does get a minor discount for using a pre-flown discount, and said that in the future: ‘“You’ll just buy a launch service and whether it’s a new vehicle or a reflown vehicle, maybe some bits of both – it’s not going to matter”.
A two-hour launch window opens at 6.53pm Florida time.
The powerful first stage will fall away after launch and is scheduled to land down-range onto SpaceX’s floating barge, Of course I still love you.