SpaceX to Launch SES-9 Atop Falcon 9

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SpaceX is preparing for the Feb. 24 launch of the SES-9 commercial communications satellite atop a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. But a successful recovery of the rocket's first stage is unlikely.

SpaceX is ready to launch the SES-9 commercial communications satellite for Luxembourg fleet operator SES on Feb. 24. But the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company will not attempt a land-based recovery of the Falcon 9 core stage, owing to performance requirements needed to get the 5,330-kg spacecraft to geosynchronous orbit in the third quarter of this year. 

SpaceX is targeting an evening launch of SES-9 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral AFS in Florida. The approximately 90-minute launch window opens at 6:46:14 p.m. eastern, with a backup launch window opening at 6:46:17 p.m. Feb. 25.

Built by Boeing Satellite Systems International and based on the 702HP spacecraft bus, the hybrid-propulsion SES-9 satellite is expected to deploy at about 31 minutes after launch.

Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on SpaceX's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. However, "given the mission's unique GTO profile, a successful landing is unexpected," SpaceX says.

 

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