Oct 20 2015

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SpaceX swaps ORBCOMM launch with SES

SpaceX Changes Its Falcon 9 Rocket Return-to-Flight Plans. Doing the ORBCOMM mission first, with a delivery only to LEO, will allow an on-orbit test of the new second-stage engine, which will therefore (assuming a successful test) reduce the risk to the SES-9 launch to GEO afterwards.

SES wanted SES-9 to launch no later than September, but

“At the end of the day, if the launch provider tells you this is the way they would prefer to proceed, then we take that seriously,” Payer said. “We are working toward a late-December launch.”

I think this is a wise move by all parties (even though SES is counting on SES-9’s revenue). The new Falcon 9 v1.2 is a pretty major upgrade over v1.1, and given that SpaceX is coming off of a major launch failure, it’s understandable that they are being a bit cautious with v1.2.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/20/spacex-swaps-orbcomm-launch-with-ses/

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