After a series of delays since November 25, the U.S. space technology company SpaceX launched Tuesday night successfully its first commercial satellite, Luxembourg SES group.
The two-story rocket Falcon 9 blasted off as scheduled at 22h41 GMT station from the U.S. Air Force from Cape Canaveral in Florida (southern United States), when initiating a launch window of 90 minutes.
The SES-8 geostationary satellite of 100 million dollars and 2.9 tonnes was first placed in an orbit called “parking” (Park) remained attached to the second floor of the launcher.
When it came to Ecuador, the second floor returned its engine to successfully bring the satellite to its apogee to 80,000km altitude, confirmed on Twitter the Internet mogul Elon Musk, SpaceX owner and leader.
This launch, carried out with the improved version of the Falcon 9, just after a flight test in California, marks the entry of SpaceX in the market for the launch of commercial satellites, valued at 190.000 million and which could be a clear-cut to its competitors.
The Falcon 9 will carry a telecommunications satellite for SES Luxembourg Company, the second largest satellite operator, which until now has used European or Russian Proton rocket Ariane to orbit their satellites.
SpaceX has orders for 4,000 million, of which 75% for commercial customers.
The SES satellite images provide television, cable television and other services to countries like China, India and Vietnam.
The Falcon 9 has managed successfully on three occasions send unmanned Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), under a contract with the U.S. space agency NASA.
The Dragon capsule, the first private capsule have been tied to the ISS, carrying cargo into space and return to Earth material science experiments.
SpaceX was postponed for the second time the launch of the SES-8 by technical unexpected problems in the fuel system of the rocket.