[amsat-bb] SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES FIRST MISSION TO GEOSTATIONARY TRANSFER ORBIT
ericrosenberg.dc at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 10:36:23 PST 2013
73, Eric W3DQ
December 3, 2013*
*SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES FIRST MISSION TO GEOSTATIONARY TRANSFER
/Upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers SES-8 satellite to targeted
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida -- Today, Space Exploration
Technologies (SpaceX) successfully completed its first geostationary
transfer mission, delivering the SES-8 satellite to its targeted 295 x
80,000 km orbit. Falcon 9 executed a picture-perfect flight, meeting
100% of mission objectives.
Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at 5:41 PM
Eastern Time. Approximately 185 seconds into flight, Falcon 9's second
stage's single Merlin vacuum engine ignited to begin a five minute, 20
second burn that delivered the SES-8 satellite into its parking orbit.
Eighteen minutes after injection into the parking orbit, the second
stage engine relit for just over one minute to carry the SES-8 satellite
to its final geostationary transfer orbit. The restart of the Falcon 9
second stage is a requirement for all geostationary transfer missions.
"The successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite confirms the upgraded
Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers to the industry's highest performance
standards," said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX. "As
always, SpaceX remains committed to delivering the safest, most reliable
launch vehicles on the market today. We appreciate SES's early
confidence in SpaceX and look forward to launching additional SES
satellites in the years to come."
Today's mission marked SpaceX's first commercial launch from its central
Florida launch pad and the first commercial flight from the Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in over five years. SpaceX has nearly 50
launches on manifest, of which over 60% are for commercial customers.
This launch also marks the second of three certification flights needed
to certify the Falcon 9 to fly missions for the U.S. Air Force under the
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. When Falcon 9 is
certified, SpaceX will be eligible to compete for all National Security
Space (NSS) missions.
High-resolution photos are available for download at
More information about the AMSAT-BB