SpaceX Successfully Launched Its First Commercial Satellite

Elon Musk’s space company has, after a few teething issues, successfully launched a comms satellite bound for geostationary orbit.

SpaceX Successfully Launched Its First Commercial Satellite
[Image: SpaceX

Last night at 10:41 GMT, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon-9 rocket. The rocket is on what may be the most important mission yet for the company. It is taking the SES-8 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. Its success demonstrates SpaceX’s ability to carry out complex missions efficiently. This launch was delayed twice before, due to different warnings and issues.

After launch, the rocket successfully managed several tricky maneuvers needed to boost its payload into what’s known as a geostationary transfer orbit, a very high orbit around Earth. The SES-8 satellite then maneuvered into orbit above India.

While the main launch was a success, what we don’t yet know is if SpaceX also used the mission to test its plans to build fully reusable rockets, as it has done before.

About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.

More

Video

More Stories