SpaceX intends to launch EchoStar-105/SES-11 on a partially reused Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than October, the company said Aug. 31.
The mission will be SpaceX’s third launch to use a previously flown Falcon 9 booster. The first was the March launch of SES-10 followed by the June launch of BulgariaSat-1.
Luxembourg-based SES and EchoStar of Englewood, Colorado, ordered the satellite from Airbus Defence and Space in August 2014 as a replacement for AMC-15, which is now 13 years old. EchoStar will lease the Ku-band payload on SES-11, rebranding it as EchoStar-105.
Both satellite operators originally anticipated the spacecraft launching in late 2016, but SpaceX’s September 2016 Falcon 9 explosion set the mission back about a year.
EchoStar-105/SES-11 will cover the Americas, including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, from the 105 degrees west orbital location. Once in orbit, EchoStar will lease the full Ku-band payload for a minimum of 10 years, with the option afterwards to renew on an annual basis. SES will operate the C- and Ka-band payloads, with the C-band payload replacing capacity from AMC-18.