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Falcon 9 launches two communications satellites
Posted: Mon, Mar 2, 2015, 7:20 AM ET (1220 GMT)
Falcon 9 v1.1 launch of ABS 3A/Eutelsat 115 West B (SpaceX) A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a pair of small communications satellites Sunday night. The Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket lifted off on schedule at 10:50 pm EST Sunday (0350 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and released the ABS 3A and Eutelsat 115 West B satellites into supersynchronous transfer orbits about a half-hour later. The two satellites are the first Boeing 702SP "all-electric" communications satellites that rely entirely on ion thrusters for both stationkeeping and orbit raising. ABS 3A, to operate from 3 degrees west in GEO, will provide C- and Ku-band communications services for Asia Broadcast Satellite. Eutelsat 115 West B will operate from 114.9 degrees west in GEO to provide C- and Ku-band services for Eutelsat; the satellite has originally been ordered by Mexican operator Satmex prior to its acquisition by Eutelsat.
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