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SpaceX launches Falcon 9 carrying AsiaSat 8

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle along with AsiaSat 8 satellite. Photo: SpaceX.

WASHINGTON (BNS): A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off early Tuesday from Cape Canaveral for deploying China's AsiaSat 8 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral, with a T-0 of 08:00 UTC.

The AsiaSat-8 spacecraft was constructed by Space Systems/Loral, and carries 24 transponders operating in the Ku band of the electromagnetic spectrum with a bandwidth of 54 megahertz, along with a single Ka-band transponder.

AsiaSat 8 will provide exceptional power and additional Ku beam coverage with inter-beam switching capability for services including DTH television, private networks and broadband services.

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The satellite will provide service for 15 years or more.

Falcon 9's simple two-stage configuration minimises the number of separation events -- and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown.

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