SpaceX launches communication satellite, ditches old booster

The rocket has initiatives to transport an SFS-12 satellite into space this month.

The powerful, hefty SES satellite, weighing in at 12,000 pounds (5,400 kilograms), will provide TV and data coverage across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

Elon Musk's SpaceX announced back in February a year ago that, in late 2018, it would fly two paying space tourists around the Moon and back to Earth.

The Falcon 9's first stage had supported the OTV-5 mission in September 2017, according to a SpaceX press kit. The first stage is back on the launch pad Sunday for its second flight.

SpaceX made no attempt to recover the earlier-generation "block 4" first stage, which was limited to only two flights.

SpaceX had hoped to launch the SES-12 satellite last week, but a combination of factors, including additional second stage inspections, pushed the flight to Monday.

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"We get a lot of performance from this vehicle", Martin Halliwell, chief technical officer of SES, said of the Falcon 9. That engine is a monster. This version is developed for enhancing the reusability of the rocket. There are also some concerns about the Falcon Heavy rocket, which hasn't been under as much testing as the Falcon 9 rocket.

After operational missions with the crewed Dragon capsule were underway for NASA, SpaceX had planned to launch the private tourist moon mission.

Space X will not be trying to land the Falcon 9 booster for the second time. The 4 hours launch window was opened at near about 12:29 a.m. ET.

The Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying the SES 12 communications satellite for SES of Luxembourg.

The Falcon 9 rocket is seeing more use due to upgrades that give it more thrust. The launch was initially scheduled for June 1, 2018. Further, the company added, "Rocket and payload are in good health".

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