[amsat-bb] SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES FIRST MISSION TO GEOSTATIONARY TRANSFER ORBIT

Eric Rosenberg ericrosenberg.dc at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 10:36:23 PST 2013


FYI --

73, Eric W3DQ
Washington, DC

-----------------------

December 3, 2013*
*

*SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES FIRST MISSION TO GEOSTATIONARY TRANSFER 
ORBIT*

/Upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers SES-8 satellite to targeted 
orbit/

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 
www.spacex.com/media <http://www.spacex.com/media>.


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