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Watch SpaceX launch a communications satellite tonight

Watch SpaceX launch a communications satellite tonight


The launch window opens at 12:29 AM ET

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Just two weeks after it successfully launched a batch of satellites into orbit, SpaceX is slated to send another Falcon 9 into space. The company will launch a SES-12 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida, with its launch window beginning at 12:29 AM EDT on Monday morning.

The satellite in question is from SES, a Luxembourg-based telecom company, and will provide communications services for the Asian-Pacific and Middle East regions. The company notes that it’s one of the largest that it’s ever launched, and that it will help provide data in a part of the world where demand is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

SpaceX initially planned to launch the rocket on May 31st, but delayed it to conduct some additional tests. This launch features a used first stage, which launched the US Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane into space in September 2017, but SpaceX won’t attempt a landing this time around.

Notably, while the first stage is a Block 4 version of the Falcon 9, the second stage is a Block 5 version, the latest and final iteration for the rocket, designed to improve the rocket’s reusability. The first Block 5 rocket launched earlier in May, but it wasn’t quite in its final configuration to meet NASA’s requirements to carry astronauts into space.

Tonight’s launch has a four-hour launch window that begins late tonight: at 12:29 AM EDT, and SpaceX reports that the weather is 70 percent favorable. It it doesn’t take off tonight, the next window will be on Tuesday, June 5th, with another four-hour launch window that opens at 12:29 AM. If you want to watch the launch, coverage typically begins 15 minutes prior to takeoff, so set your alarm accordingly.