Forecasting a future where satellite networks reach into vastly more ships, airplanes, homes and businesses, SES announced Monday it will buy at least seven high-capacity broadband and data relay satellites from Boeing for launch in 2021 into a rarely-used orbit several thousand miles over the equator.
Succeeding on a one-shot launch attempt before Hurricane Irma shuts down the Cape Canaveral spaceport, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into orbit Thursday with the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane, a reusable robotic mini-shuttle that could stay aloft for years with clandestine on-board experiments.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B mini-shuttle, an unpiloted orbiting military laboratory. Liftoff occurred at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage booster successfully landed at Cape Canaveral a few minutes later.
With an eye on dangerous Hurricane Irma’s forecast path toward Florida, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force are proceeding with preparations to launch an unpiloted reusable military spaceship Thursday on a mission to conduct experiments in orbit, deploy multiple small satellites and glide back to Earth for a runway landing after months or years in space.