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SpaceX delays plans to send tourists around Moon, says report

06 June 2018

A new timetable for the flight - now postponed until at least mid-2019 and likely longer - hasn't been released by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name of the closely held company.

It was flown beyond Earth's atmosphere atop one of SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rockets in a launch early Monday morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX may try to recover the Falcon 9 fairings at sea, which make up the rocket's nose cone, where the payload is encased. The launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., has a four-hour window that opens 12:29am ET (04:29 UTC).

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SES-12 eventually will be positioned at 95 degrees east longitude, co-located with the SES-8 relay station - the first SES satellite launched by SpaceX. The satellites will provide pay-TV operators the reliability and scalability to elevate viewing experiences by adding more content and delivering higher-quality picture quality to address the ever-increasing audience demand for high definition (HD) and Ultra HD content. The all-electric SES-12 spacecraft was built by Airbus Defence and Space, and will rely on electric propulsion for orbit raising and subsequent in-orbit manoeuvres.

SES-12 onboard SpaceX rocket at launch pad.

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SpaceX has landed these boosters 25 times, and reflown them on a dozen occasions. SES-12 is designed for an operational life of some 15 years.

The satellite is created to expand SES' capabilities to deliver very small aperture terminal and high-throughput data connectivity and direct-to-home broadcasting services in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year. The rocket is carrying a communications satellite.

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"We believe there are around about a billion people in the Asia-Pacific market that still don't have good connectivity through the devices you're all holding in your hands right now", Hemingway told reporters last week. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".

SpaceX delays plans to send tourists around Moon, says report