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ROCKET SCIENCE
SpaceX launches Inmarsat communications satellite
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) May 16, 2017


SpaceX on Monday launched a communications satellite for Inmarsat, marking its first launch for the London-based mobile broadband company.

The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite, built by Boeing, blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:21 pm (2321 GMT).

"We've had confirmation of spacecraft separation," said a SpaceX commentator about 30 minutes after launch, signaling that the satellite was successfully deployed to a distant, geostationary orbit.

"We've had good orbits, good separation, all you can ask for today."

The satellite is the fourth in the company's Global Xpress (GX) constellation, aimed at providing high-speed mobile broadband service.

"Inmarsat, the only operator of a global Ka-band network, created the GX platform to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society," said a company statement.

SpaceX, which is headed by Elon Musk, did not attempt to bring the first stage of the rocket back to Earth for an upright landing following the launch.

The payload weighed some 13,500 pounds (6,100 kilograms), and the force needed to propel it to orbit would not leave enough fuel for the rocket to maneuver back to Earth.

ROCKET SCIENCE
SpaceX makes first US military launch, then lands rocket again
Miami (AFP) May 1, 2017
SpaceX on Monday blasted off a secretive US government satellite, known only as NROL-76, marking the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk. The payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States, soared into the sky atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:15 am (1115 GMT). Abo ... read more

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