Third time a charm: SpaceX launches commercial satellite (Update 3)

Dec 03, 2013

The private US company SpaceX said it successfully launched on Tuesday its first commercial satellite, designed to provide telecommunications services to China and other Asian countries.

It said the launch came after two delays in recent days because of glitches with the company's Falcon 9 rocket.

On Tuesday it finally roared into space at 2241 GMT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX said in a statement.

Its $100 million satellite was placed in orbit 14 minutes later.

"Falcon 9 executed a picture-perfect flight, meeting 100% of mission objectives," the statement said.

The rocket's cargo was a telecommunications satellite for the Luxembourg company SES, which until now has used European Ariane rockets or the Russian Proton for its satellite launches.

"Restart was good, apogee raised to 80k km (50k miles). Yes!!!," SpaceX owner Elon Musk, the billionaire Internet entrepreneur, said shortly after liftoff.

SES-8 is SpaceX's first launch to a geostationary transfer orbit—80,000 kilometers (50,000 miles) from Earth—and most challenging mission to date, the company said.

The SES-8 satellite is due to provide television, cable TV and other services to countries including China, India and Vietnam.

SpaceX is eager to get into the commercial satellite launch business, estimated to be worth $190 billion a year.

SpaceX said it has orders for nearly 50 more launches, more than 60 percent of them for commercial customers.

The launch is the first using an improved version of the Falcon 9 after a test flight in California.

A delay on Thursday was blamed on unexpected technical problems with the rocket's fuel system. Its first attempt at launch was also put off on Monday of last week.

The Falcon 9 has already succeeded in sending its Dragon capsules to the International Space Station under a contract with the US space agency, NASA.

The Dragon capsule takes cargo into space and brings back material from scientific experiments.

Explore further: After two delays, SpaceX counts down to satellite launch (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SpaceX postpones first satellite launch

Nov 29, 2013

Private US company SpaceX postponed the launch of a rocket carrying its first telecommunications satellite on Thursday after two unsuccessful attempts at take-off.

First-ever SpaceX payload delivery set for launch

Nov 25, 2013

The maiden flight of the next-generation commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the firm's Cape Canaveral launch facility is set to soar to space on Monday afternoon, Nov. 25 on a ground-breaking mission ...

Recommended for you

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

8 hours ago

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

Sep 19, 2014

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Matthewwa25
Dec 03, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
QuixoteJ
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2013
A delay on Thursday was blamed on unexpected technical problems with the rocket's fuel system. Its first attempt at launch was also put off on Monday of last week.
The only two sentences in the article that the author didn't separate with a carriage return.
Tetsugaku
not rated yet Dec 04, 2013
Is anyone but the government currently in competition with SpaceX?