SES 10 Is Almost Ready For Its Ride On Reused Rocket

ses 10 launch pad

The SES 10 communications satellite is right on track and almost ready for its launch.

According to an official release, the SES 10 communications satellite is right on track and almost ready for its launch. This is expected to take place in late March. It will also be coming with a quite unique element. The satellite will be the first to launch aboard a reused rocket, a Falcon 9.

SES 10 Will Be The First Aboard A Reused Falcon 9

The communications satellite will be deployed by a SpaceX rocket. This aerospace company had already announced its intention of testing and reusing Falcon 9 rockets. Details on the matter were released earlier this month. They came on March 08th from Gwynne Shotwell. She is the SpaceX President and CEO.

SpaceX is planning on launching 6 already used rockets. These Falcon boosters may be re-deployed for flights throughout the year. The SES 10 will be the first to fly aboard such a rocket.

According to Shotwell, SpaceX recovered the booster as it landed on a barge stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The 15-story booster’s initial launch took place on April 08th, 2016. Following its recovery, the rocket was cleaned, refurbished, and fire-tested. Shotwell states that the refurbishing process took around 4 months.

The company is planning on reducing this period. Its first decrease will try to bring it to 2 months. But the final goal is to diminish the turnaround to less than a day.

Back in August 2016, SES presented its agreement with SpaceX’s plan. The Luxembourg-based satellite operator is on board with the aerospace company’s plan to launch an already used first stage. Nonetheless, the rocket’s second stage, as well as its fairing, are new.

SES 10 And Its Reused Companion Are Right On Track

An SES official released a statement on March 17th. This followed the SpaceX launch of the EchoStar 23. According to the Luxembourgian company, both its satellite and the rocket carrying it are right on schedule. Both spacecraft are right on schedule and reveal no issues.

As such, officials are looking to launch the SES 10 communications satellite on March 27th. Further details on the matter have yet to be released. These may include, for example, a potential second launching window.

SpaceX had to use such an option for its planned EchoStar 23 launch. Initially set for Tuesday, the event was delayed for Thursday based on the high winds. Nonetheless, officials did reveal some information.

For example, the satellite’s weight at the launch time. This will weigh about 11,700 pounds. The information is important as it draws attention to another fact. The Falcon 9 will most likely have enough fuel margin left in its first stage following the launch. As such, SpaceX will attempt to land it in its Atlantic Ocean floating margin.

Recovering the reused first stage might bring important data. It could offer the company a better insight into its performance and state.

Image Source: Flickr

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