The SES-8 satellite was successfully launched into space at 17:41 EST (23:41 CET) from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
A Falcon 9 booster operated by SpaceX successfully injected the SES-8 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, 31 minutes after lift-off, in what was SES’s maiden use of a SpaceX/Falcon 9 rocket. SES has three more SpaceX/Falcon 9 boosters under contract.
SES-8 was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The satellite 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, VSAT and government applications.
“SES’s maiden launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket is yet another example of our company’s spirit of innovation and advancement of the commercial space industry. 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,” said Romain Bausch, president and CEO of SES.
“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.”
“Today’s successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite marks SpaceX’s first geo-synchronous transfer mission and confirms the Falcon 9 launch vehicle lives up to the industry’s highest performance standards,” said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX.
“As always, SpaceX remains committed to delivering the safest, most reliable launch vehicles on the market today. We appreciate SES’s early confidence in SpaceX and look forward to launching additional SES satellites in the years to come.”