A SpaceX-branded Falcon 9 rocket ignited all nine of its Merlin engines at a Cape Canaveral, Florida-based launch pad at 12:45 A.M. Eastern time on Monday as the commercial space company moved forward with plans to send a customer’s precious cargo into space.
Image Credit: SpaceX/Twitter
Inside of its spacy cargo hold was a monstrously-sized SES-12 communications satellite weighing more than 11,800 pounds; it was built to provide television and internet-centric services to countries throughout Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East.
Citing the SpaceX website, the SES-12 satellite needed to be placed in a peculiar Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) around the Earth to relay information to Earth-based receivers as efficiently as possible.
"This is an incredibly flexible satellite that we're putting into our fleet," said SES Networks CEO John-Paul Hemingway.
Notably, the Falcon 9 that took the SES-12 communications satellite into space was a refurbished unit that flew to space last September.
Given that the rocket was previously used, and how it wasn’t SpaceX’s new ‘Block 5’ Falcon 9 variant, the company didn’t attempt to land the first stage after launch for refurbishment. Instead, it made its way back to Earth and plopped safely into the Atlantic Ocean for recovery.
SpaceX streamed the launch in real time over the internet to its fanbase. If you missed it, then you can watch an archive of the footage below: