Two aborted launch attempts are bound to raise heart-rates and blood pressure, but SpaceX successfully sent a giant Intelsat (I-35e) satellite on its way to orbit at its third launch attempt. The success meant a third launch for SpaceX in less than two weeks. SpaceX used an all-new rocket for the launch and the mission’s weight and target insertion into its geostationary transfer orbit meant that there was no surplus fuel left to attempt a post-launch landing. The rocket fell safely into the Atlantic after launch. Intelsat, in its post-launch statement, confirmed that all was well with its ‘Epic’ satellite which will now journey to its orbital slot at 325.5 degrees East, where it will supply DTH signals (for Canal+) and bandwidth for the Americas, Caribbean, and provide links to Europe and Africa. It will replace Intelsat 903 when it arrives on station. I-903 will then be relocated to another position towards year-end.
“The successful launch of Intelsat 35e is a major milestone in our business plan for 2017, furthering the footprint and resilience of our Intelsat Epic infrastructure,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. He added, “With each Intelsat Epic launch, we advance our vision of creating a global, high performance for our customers that will unlock new growth opportunities in applications including mobility, wireless infrastructure and private data networks. As we further our innovations with respect to ground infrastructure and managed service offerings, like IntelsatOne Flex, we are transforming the role of satellite in the telecommunications landscape.”