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COSMIC COAST: SpaceX Sets Spaceflight Milestone With SES-8 Falcon 9 Launch

Dec 11 2013

by Ramey Shirah

On December 3, 2013, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) kicked off the holidays with a cosmic light show for all of the “Space Coast” to see. At 5:43pm, a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a 7,000 pound SES-8 communications satellite was successfully launched into geostationary transfer orbit from the leased Launch Complex 40 pad (LC40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This mission marked SpaceX’s first large communications satellite placement, more than 22,000 miles over the equator, for a commercial client. The new satellite was purchased by Luxembourg-based SES and will broadcast high-definition television channels to the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, SpaceX advertises Falcon 9 launches for under $60 million, and SES received a discount for being the first commercial customer to go into GTO (geostationary transfer orbit) via SpaceX. What does all of this mean for the rest of us, exactly? It’s probably time for some new lawn chairs, space fanatics… things are about to get crazy up in here!

PEOPLE ARE EXCITED ABOUT SPACEX NEWS AND HERE’S WHY:

– SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, intends to revolutionize space transportation with the “ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

– SpaceX = American jobs

– SpaceX has nearly 50 launches on manifest.

– SpaceX is developing a Raptor methane fueled engine (it has 4x the thrust of their current Merlin 1D model) for manned Mars colonization.

– Reading the SpaceX JOB BOARD will make you feel smart!

A view of the Falcon 9 launch from the Rotary River Front Park in Titusville, FL.

For several minutes, the rocket contrail looked bright pink in the light of the setting sun.

A mysterious looking teardrop shape appeared around the rocket as it ascended through the atmosphere, baffling onlookers.

Have you ever had the chance to see a rocket launch for yourself? If not, you’re in luck! Check out the latest schedule of upcoming rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, FL:

– December 20, 2013 or TBD: Falcon 9 | Thiacom 6 / SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

– January 2014 or TBD: Delta IV | GPS 2F-5, SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

– January 23, 2014 @ 9:11-9:51pm: Atlas 5 | AEHF 3, SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

– February 22, 2014 or TBD: Falcon 9 | SpaceX CRS 3, SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

– February/TBD: Delta IV | GPS 2F-5, SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

MORE LINKS:

YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DEC. 3, 2013 SES-8 FALCON 9 LAUNCH

SpaceX SES-8 FALCON 9 LAUNCH PRESS RELEASE

MORE ABOUT THE RAPTOR ROCKET ENGINE

Ramey Shirah, a Southern Coterie contributor, has an exquisite eye for photography and a big heart for conservation and nature. She lives on St. Simons Island and shares pictures and insights on her blog, www.goldenislesinsider.com. You can also visit Golden Isles Insider on fb @https://www.facebook.com/GoldenIslesInsider or on twitter @ https://twitter.com/goldenislesGA

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