SpaceX goes for its 11th launch of the year early on Monday

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SpaceX launched its 11th rocket of the year, this time it was an SES-12 communications satellite. The client there was the satellite operator SES, with the payload being set to deliver TV and data services to customers in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

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. It will replace and augment the services now being provided on SES's NSS-6 satellite.

'SES-12 is a uniquely designed satellite that will allow telephone companies, mobile network operators and internet service providers to deliver more reliable cellular backhaul and faster broadband service, ' SpaceX said in a statement. SpaceX may try to recover the Falcon 9 fairings at sea, which make up the rocket's nose cone, where the payload is encased.

Standing some 27 feet tall and weighing almost 12,000 pounds, Halliwell joked that the spacecraft built in France by Airbus Defense and Space barely fit inside the Falcon 9 rocket's nose cone, or payload fairing.

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"It's big", said Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES, of the satellite. This process is expected to last about four-to-six months.

Following separation from the launcher, the most powerful all-electric satellite ever has completed its initialization phase and has started its electric orbit raising (EOR) operations as planned.

Monday's launch comes eight years to the day when SpaceX first successfully launched its Falcon 9 from the Cape.

"Once operational Crew Dragon missions are under way for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the Moon and return to Earth", SpaceX said in a statement. After extensive tests and checkout, SES-12 should enter operational service early next year.

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