[Via Satellite 02-08-2016] SpaceX and SES have established Feb. 24 as the mutually agreed date for the launch of SES 9, with Feb. 25 as the backup date. SES 9 is slated to launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The mission was previously expected in 2015, then in mid-January this year. SpaceX is currently completing an extended series of testing and pre-flight validation in advance of the launch, which will take place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
SpaceX is supporting a mission modification to reduce the time needed for SES 9 to reach its orbital slot, keeping the Operational Service Date (OSD) in the third quarter of 2016, as previously anticipated. SES 9 sports a hybrid propulsion system, and will use a chemical bi-propellant apogee motor to quickly achieve a 24-hour synchronous orbit first, before switching to electric propulsion to circularize the final orbit and remove eccentricity at 36,000 kilometers over the equator. Subsequent on-orbit maneuvers will be executed with electric propulsion.
Built by Boeing, SES 9 is designed to operate for 15 years in geosynchronous orbit with a 12.7-kilowatt payload and 57 high-power Ku-band transponders (equivalent to 81 × 36 MHz transponders). The satellite will be positioned at 108.2 degrees east to provide both replacement and incremental capacity over Asia. The spacecraft will be collocated with SES 7, reaching fast-growing markets including South Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Indian Ocean.
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