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SpaceX Delivers Two Communication Satellites to Orbit

17 Jun 2016, 14:57 UTC
SpaceX Delivers Two Communication Satellites to Orbit
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At 10:29 AM local time on 15 June 2016, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Stacked in the payload fairing were two Boeing-built satellites.
Eutelsat 117 West B will strengthen the video capacities to Latin America clients in the field of telecommunications and government services. Originally to be called Satmex 9, the satellite was renamed after Eutelsat acquired Satmex in January 2014.
ABS-2A will serve Africa, MENA, Russia, South Asia and South East Asia with video and key communication services at 75 degrees E.
Both satellites feature all-electric propulsion, which minimizes spacecraft launch mass. This payload was similar to the 2 March 2015 launch of ABS-3A and Eutelsat 115 West B. In both cases, the launch cost is split between ABS and Eutelsat, further lowering launch costs.
Of note is the rapid pace of SpaceX launches from SLC-40. This launch occurred just 19 days after the 27 May 2016 launch of Thaicom-8. While 19 days is not the fastest turnaround (that belongs to the 13-day gap between CRS-6 and TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT in April 2015), this represents the fourth SpaceX launch in 69 days, eclipsing the past record of four launches in 70 ...

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