45th Space Wing Public Affairs
12/5/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The
45th Space Wing provided flawless Eastern Range support as Space
Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed a successful launch of the
SES-8 communications satellite from Launch Complex 40 here at 5:41 p.m.
Airmen, Air Force civilians and contractors from throughout the 45th
Space Wing provided vital support, including weather forecasts, launch
and range operations, security, safety, medical and public affairs. The
wing also provided its vast network of radar, telemetry, optical and
communications instrumentation to facilitate a safe launch on the
Launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the payload flew on the Falcon
9 v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel
tanks, and a payload fairing.
The launch of SES-8, which will be released in a super synchronous
transfer orbit stretching above its 22,300-mile-high operating post,
requires two burns of the Falcon 9 second stage. The first firing will
place SES-8 in a low-altitude parking orbit, then the second burn is
designed to inject the 7,055-pound craft in an oval-shaped orbit.
SES-8 will maneuver itself into a circular orbit 22,300 miles over the
equator, sliding into position in the geostationary arc at 95 degrees
The satellite features up to 33 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz
equivalent). SES-8 will be co-located with NSS-6 at the orbital location
of 95 degrees east to provide growth capacity over Asia-Pacific. The
spacecraft's high performance beams will support the rapidly growing
markets in South Asia and Indo-China, as well as provide expansion
capacity for DTH, VSAT and government applications.
"For the second time in a little more than two weeks, the 45th Space
Wing and our mission partners have worked together to ensure another
successful launch here on the Eastern Range," said Brig. Gen. Nina
Armagno, commander, 45th Space Wing, who also served as the Launch
Decision Authority for this mission. "It's gratifying to see a varied,
high-performing team like this come together time and time-again. We are
truly grateful for the outstanding space team we have here on the Space
Coast," she said.