A SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher boosted a 4.7-ton military-grade communications satellite for SES and the Luxembourg government toward a perch 22,300 miles over the equator following a spectacular late afternoon liftoff Tuesday from Florida’s Space Coast, clearing the last mission off the launch company’s manifest before the long-awaited debut of the massive Falcon Heavy rocket.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at 4:25 p.m. EST (2125 GMT) Wednesday from Cape Canaveral with the GovSat 1 communications satellite, a military-grade craft to relay signals for Luxembourg and allied nations. SpaceX’s launch team scrubbed an attempt Tuesday to replace a transducer on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and wait for improved weather conditions.
A communications satellite developed in a public-private partnership between Luxembourg government and SES is set for launch Tuesday aboard a previously-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from Cape Canaveral, ready for a 15-year mission beaming encrypted, jam-resistant signals for security and military forces across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Arianespace will convene an independent inquiry board chaired by a top European Space Agency official to investigate why an Ariane 5 rocket flew off course Thursday night after liftoff from French Guiana with the SES 14 and Al Yah 3 telecom satellites, but both payloads will be salvaged to accomplish their planned missions, officials said Friday.