Feeds

To the MONEY RING: Musk's SpaceX to attempt boldest mission yet

Geosynch debut takes upstart rocket biz into the real 'commercial space'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated It's yet another fateful day for upstart startup rocket biz SpaceX and its visionary founder Elon Musk. Today the company will attempt for the first time to put a satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit - and so enter the main space arena in which serious commercial money can be made today.

Geostationary orbit is the magic ring around the planet 35,786km above the equator, where a satellite in a stable trajectory goes round the planet in exactly 24 hours and thus hovers stationary above a point on the surface. This means that a dish pointing at such a satellite does not need to move to track it, and the satellite is always there.

That makes the satellite hugely more valuable for most commercial purposes than one which barrels briefly across the sky as it will if placed in low orbit. So, though it takes a lot more rocket poke to get up to GTO, the satellite operator will pay a lot, lot more to the launch provider. In fact the bulk of the commercial, private sector space launch market - by money, if not by numbers of satellites - is geostationary. The belt of spacecraft circling the Earth almost 36,000km out is effectively the Money Ring for those who want to make a commercial buck in space today (though if you don't mind working for the government it may be more lucrative still to focus on putting large payloads into low polar orbits, as SpaceX also hopes to do).

Today, SpaceX aims to send up a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral and deliver a communications bird for satellite multinational SES to the point on the Money Ring 95 degrees east of Greenwich, where it will bring various services to southern Asia. The launch window opens at 5:37pm Eastern US time (10:37pm GMT).

The company says:

SES-8 will be SpaceX’s first launch to a geostationary transfer orbit ... and most challenging mission to date.

The launch will be streamed live by SpaceX here.

Say what you like about Elon Musk and/or SpaceX, there's never a dull moment with them around. ®

Updated at 2355 GMT, 1555 PT

The launch was scrubbed: more information right here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.