Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Airbus-built SES-12 dual-mission satellite successfully launched

Airbus-built SES-12 dual-mission satellite successfully launched

Today's launch was SpaceX's 56th Falcon 9 rocket flight - the company's 11th flight this year and its fifth launch for Luxembourg-based telecom company SES.

SES-12, the 13th satellite built by Airbus for SES, has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 04 June. According to the mission's press kit, the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage will deploy the satellite 32 minutes and 14 seconds after liftoff. This time around, SpaceX didn't try recovering the first-stage booster or nose cone.

The satellite could help broadcast television programs directly to more than 18 Million households in the Asia-Pacific region, along with the SES-8 satellite, launched in 2013 by SpaceX.

"This is an incredibly flexible satellite that we're putting into our fleet", said John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.

Instead, the satellite will rely on electric propulsion, using pulses of xenon gas to slowly circularize its orbit around the equator over a period of months. At the moment, this figure dropped to 40%, reflecting a sharp decline in the world in the number of orders for the construction and launch of larger commercial satellites.

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SpaceX launched a communications satellite early Monday morning. SES-12 is designed for an operational life of some 15 years.

The SES-12 high throughput payload is meant to enhance connectivity in the aeronautical and maritime segments across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. SES-12 will also enable governments to provide connectivity programs to bridge the digital divide, and in allowing telcos, mobile network operators and internet service providers to deliver more cellular backhaul and faster broadband services.

SES-12, is equipped with wide beams and high throughput beams and will provide video, fixed data, mobility and government services across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

And satellite internet service promises to grow at an equally astronomical rate.

"If you take all those numbers together, this is really exciting for us", he said.

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