SpaceX is now in the used rocket business.
Satellite operator SES is the first to jump on the SpaceX used rocket sale. The SES-10 satellite will be launched on used Falcon 9 orbital rocket booster. SpaceX managed to land a Falcon 9 rocket stage now several times after delivering payload into orbit. While this was incredible exciting to watch, now comes the business side of landing rockets into play.
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The satellite, which will be in a geostationary orbit and expand SES’s capabilities across Latin America, is scheduled for launch in Q4 2016.
SES-10 will be the first-ever satellite to launch on a SpaceX flight-proven rocket booster.
SES-10 will be positioned at 67 degrees West, pursuant to an agreement with the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), and will be used for the Simón Bolivar 2 satellite network. With a Ku-band payload of 55 36MHz transponder equivalents, of which 27 are incremental, the multi-mission spacecraft is the first SES satellite wholly dedicated to Latin America. It will replace the capacity currently provided by SES’s AMC-3 and AMC-4 satellites at that location, as well as bring additional capacity to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The high-powered, tailored and flexible beams will provide direct-to-home broadcasting, enterprise and mobility services.
“Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket. We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight, and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and manifest management,” said Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES. “This new agreement reached with SpaceX once again illustrates the faith we have in their technical and operational expertise. The due diligence the SpaceX team has demonstrated throughout the design and testing of the SES-10 mission launch vehicle gives us full confidence that SpaceX is capable of launching our first SES satellite dedicated to Latin America into space.”
“Re-launching a rocket that has already delivered spacecraft to orbit is an important milestone on the path to complete and rapid reusability,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX. “SES has been a strong supporter of SpaceX’s approach to reusability over the years and we’re delighted that the first launch of a flight-proven rocket will carry SES-10.”
SES-10 is being built by Airbus Defense and Space and is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. The satellite will utilize an electric plasma propulsion system for on-orbit maneuvers and a chemical system for initial orbit raising and some on-orbit maneuvers.
Elon Musk's SpaceX used rocket sale is yet another milestone into making the space business as normal as the car business.