A SpaceX rocket has launched a dual-mission communications satellite to be used jointly by a pair telecommunications providers.
Liftoff of the Falcon 9 — fitted with a previously used booster stage — came at 6:53 p.m. EDT Oct. 11 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket’s first stage was also used to power a Falcon 9 employed in a cargo-resupply mission to the International Space Station.
The latest launch’s high-tech payload was placed into orbit roughly 36 minutes after liftoff. Dubbed SES-11/EchoStar 105, the Airbus-built satellite effectively replaces two commsats, known as AMC-15 and AMC-18.
Telecommunications provider SES of Luxembourg will share different portions of the sat’s capacity with Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar. Optimized for high-def television deliver, it will be used for the delivery of TV services in North America and other communications operations.
The launch followed another SpaceX launch two days earlier, when the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company lifted 10 commsats into orbit for McLean, Va.-based Iridium Communications.