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SpaceX Falcon rocket lifts off with Thaicom digital TV satellite


A House Exploration Applied sciences’ Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Drive Station in Florida on Monday to position a business communications spacecraft into orbit for Thai satellite tv for pc operator Thaicom.

The 224-foot (sixty eight-meter) tall rocket go off its seaside launch pad at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT), hovering thru overcast skies because it headed towards the satellite tv for pc’s drop-off level greater than fifty five,000 miles (88,500 km) above Earth or about one-quarter of how to the moon.

From that place, the 6,649-pound (three,016 kg) Thaicom 6 satellite tv for pc is designed to decrease itself to about 22,300 miles (35,888 km) above Earth and shift the perspective of its orbit in order that it may be completely stationed to beam excessive-definition and digital tv services and products to shoppers in Thailand and surrounding areas.

The satellite tv for pc, constructed with the aid of Virginia-primarily based Orbital Sciences Corp , additionally is supplied to supply different communications services and products for purchasers in Southeast Asia and Africa, together with Madagascar, Thaicom’s web page displays. Together with launch services and products and insurance coverage, the Thaicom 6 satellite tv for pc price about $one hundred sixty million, in keeping with Thaicom.

To this point, about two-thirds of the satellite tv for pc’s capability has been offered, consistent with Thaicom. Monday’s launch was once the 2d in simply over a month for Area Exploration Applied sciences, often referred to as SpaceX.

In December, the California-based totally agency, owned and operated with the aid of technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who additionally serves as chief govt of Tesla Motors automobile firm, launched its first industrial communications satellite tv for pc, staking a declare in a worldwide satellite tv for pc launch business price about $6.5 billion a year, a find out about by way of the Satellite tv for pc Trade Affiliation change workforce displays.

Up to now, privately owned SpaceX has bought about 50 business launches value about $forty billion. About 25 p.c of the flights are for NASA, which employed SpaceX, together with Orbital Sciences, to fly cargo to the World House Station, a $a hundred billion analysis advanced that flies about 250 miles (about four hundred km) above Earth.

SpaceX’s subsequent flight, slated for late February, would be the 1/3 of 12 station resupply missions underneath its $1.6 billion NASA contract. Orbital Sciences, which holds a separate $1.9 billion NASA contract, is making ready to launch the primary of its eight station cargo runs on Wednesday.

The corporate’s Antares rockets fly from a business spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia. Prior to Monday’s launch, Falcon 9 rockets had flown seven instances, all efficiently, although on its first cargo flight to the station, in October 2012, some of the rocket’s 9 first-stage engines shut down upfront.

Different motors compensated, and the rocket used to be ready to ship its Dragon cargo ship to the supposed orbit with no downside. SpaceX is engaged on three parallel packages to make bigger its industry and minimize prices, together with reusing its first-stage boosters. On the other hand, a proposed demonstration to restart the engine so it might cushion the splashdown into the ocean was once now not tried on the Thaicom 6 mission, stated SpaceX spokeswoman Emily Shanklin.

Heavy-raise Falcon Mission 

As well as, the corporate is engaged on a 27-engine, heavy-raise Falcon rocket in addition to a model of its Dragon cargo pill that may elevate astronauts and different passengers to the gap station.

A Falcon Heavy demonstration mission from SpaceX’s 2nd launch website online at Vandenberg Air Power Base in California is slated for 2014, the corporate’s website online presentations.

A a hit mission on Monday additionally might clear SpaceX to enter a moneymaking competitors to launch US armed forces reconnaissance and communications satellites, a provider now completely equipped by using United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.