Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SpaceX launches satellite

A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla., on Tuesday, marking the first successful SpaceX launch of a commercial satellite. The mission is SpaceX's first to a high geostationary transfer orbit needed for commercial satellites. The mission was delayed two previous times because of technical issues. The $100 million satellite is owned by a Luxembourg company, SES. The company had previously used European Ariane rockets or the Russian Proton for its satellite launches. "The entry of SpaceX into the commercial market is a game-changer," SES chief technology officer Martin Halliwell said before the earlier launch attempts. SpaceX, which has successfully resupplied the International Space Station, also wants to enter the $190 billion a year commercial satellite launch industry. (Sources: AFP via Space Daily Express, 12/04/13, Space.com via Fox News, 12/03/13) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX will test its Raptor methane rocket engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Previous