SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Set to Launch SES 18 and SES 19 Communications Satellites

SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying two communications satellites for SES from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on March 17, 2023.

The launch is scheduled to take place at 7:38 p.m., with a launch window that will remain open until 8:26 p.m. local time

According to the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is a 70% chance of favorable weather for the launch, with the primary weather concerns being cumulus clouds, Surface Electric Fields Rule, and Disturbed Weather Rule.

SES 18 and SES 19, both C-band satellites built by Northrop Grumman, will enable SES to clear 280MHz of mid-band spectrum for 5G use, while ensuring the continued delivery of digital television to nearly 120 million American TV homes and other critical data services.

The SES-18 and SES-19 satellites. (Credit: Advanced Television)

This mission is time-critical, as SES must meet the Federal Communications Commission’s objective to roll out 5G services across the United States.

After stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 Block 5 will attempt a landing on an autonomous drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX has a trusted relationship with SES, having been the first to launch a commercial satellite with them and subsequently the first commercial company to adopt the flight-proven booster.

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