SpaceX records an unprecedented 10 launches in a year. Improving their launches over the years, SpaceX achieves its tenth launch with a mission for Intelsat this year.
SpaceX’s third launch within 13 days was the Falcon 9 mission. The Intelsat-35e launched from Cape Carnival Airforce Base at 7:38 p.m Eastern time was the fourth Epic-series high-throughput satellite.
SpaceX plans to conduct 24 launches in 2017
Last year, SpaceX planned to achieve 18 launches in a year, but the plan was hampered following fuel anomaly that damaged a Falcon 9 and its payloader.
The inquiry by SpaceNews to ascertain the number of launches SpaceX intends to achieve this year was not successful. However, in 2016, Gwynne Shotwell, the president, and Chief Operating Officer revealed that plans were set to reach 18 launches in 2016 and about 24 launches in 2017.
Shotwell revealed in March that the firm would probably increase its launch cadence using about six pre-flown first stage boosters. The SES-10 and BulgariaSat-1 are two of such missions and have occurred. Shotwell highlighted that the firm would possibly reuse more than six.
Comparing other companies and their launches with SpaceX, Evry, a France-based Arianespace is known for launching about 11-12 times yearly with its three rocket fleets – Light-lift Vega, Heavy-lift Ariane 5 and Medium-lift Soyuz. A significant difference is the Arianespace’s dual launching with the Ariane 5 – Arianespace’s major launcher.
Arianespace has to its record more geostationary orbit launchings than SpaceX, but lesser satellites to low-Earth orbit.
Following the launch failures that has befallen Russia lately and the discovery of the wrong materials for rocket engines, it has been operating on slower cadence in the last few years. Otherwise, Russia can launch a dozen or more times, achieving both commercial and government missions.
Another top competitor for with SpaceX, United Launch Alliance often launch 12 or more times yearly. Presently, they have to their credits just four launches this year.
SpaceX hardly conducts expendable missions as it has only achieved three of such this year. The reason is that the launching of Intelsat-35e (14,900 lbs) required more fuel to get to its destination orbit. Intelsat-35e designed by Boeing carries a C-band of wide and spot beams, and high power wide beams. McLean and Luxembourg plan to use the satellite to achieve home TV broadcast directly, internet access and wireless backhaul to mobility and enterprise customers. The satellite spreads across Europe, Africa, Caribbean and parts of South and North America.
The 15-year old satellite, Intelsat-903 launched during launch Services proton in 2002 is being replaced by the Intelsat-35e. Intelsat disclosed that the Intelsat-35e is signaled to earth as is passes the Falcon 9’s upper level. Intelsat-903 has been mapped to be moved to an unspecified orbital place during the later part of this year.
In collaboration with Arianespace, Intelsat plans to launch another satellite (Intelsat 37e) by the third quarter of this year.