View of Earth from upper stage rear view camera at 8,000 miles pic.twitter.com/V4tdMUA48X
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 4, 2013
Congrats to the SpaceX crew for putting a new Astra satellite safely into Earth orbit. I notice the mainstream media seemed to highlight the fact that two previous launches of the Falcon-9 were cancelled. As if that never happened to NASA or ESA? I was far more interested in seeing the narrative unfold, from the test firings earlier this year and explanation by Elon Musk about why this business is so difficult - It is all about the weight. Earth's gravity means you need enormous power to escape!
SES says it has three more SpaceX/Falcon 9 boosters under contract.
SES-8 features up to 33 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent). SES-8 is authorized by The Netherlands and will be co-located with NSS-6 at the orbital location of 95 degrees East to provide growth capacity over Asia-Pacific. The spacecraft's high performance beams will support the rapidly growing markets in South Asia and Indo-China, as well as provide expansion capacity for DTH [direct-to-home TV], VSAT [very small aperture terminal] and government applications.
Romain Bausch, president and CEO of SES said: "We congratulate the SpaceX team for the success of a challenging launch campaign and our longstanding supplier Orbital for innovating with us in exploring new paths to orbit while delivering a brand-new, state-of-the-art satellite for Asia. Our customers are looking forward to the new capacity, and we are delighted that SES, in collaboration with SpaceX and Orbital, is all set to deliver following today's successful launch. Through the co-location with NSS-6 at 95 degrees East, SES-8 will not only provide incremental high performance capacity, notably for DTH services, it will also create greater reliability and additional security for customers. The SES-8 satellite will significantly contribute to SES's growing presence in Asia-Pacific."