It is not hard to write simple summary of the SES-10/Falcon-9 mission; SpaceX managed to show that reusable technology is not a myth. It was second launch of first stage of Falcon-9 rocket which managed to land on drone ship for the second time in its service history. This is true success of this mission in spite of perfect deployment of the SES-10 satellite.
This mission is in fact some kind of point in the history of SpaceX. Reusable technology, key advantage of the Falcon-9 over its competitors from ULA or Orbital ATK proved that it is not expensive dream but fact. SpaceX showed that is in one of the leaders of space industry with own launch sites (like LC-39A from where started Falcon-9 yesterday, rented from NASA for twenty years), advanced and successful launch vehicle and potential to launch one rocket every few weeks.
Launch preparations started yesterday at the early morning local time (08:00 UTC), when rocket was raised to the vertical position at LC-39A. Fueling process was started shortly before launch and was finished at 22:14 UTC. At T-7′ pre valves of the rocket were opened to let supercooled propellant chill engines. After final “go” rocket was launched at 22:26 UTC.
First stage separated from second stage after cutting off its nine Merlin-1D engines at T+02’40”. Stage managed to land on drone ship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean at T+08’31”- it was its second landing of this particular stage since first one performed after delivering Dragon cargo spacecraft on April 8, 2016. In the same time powered with single Merlin-1D upper stage jettisoned fairing covering weighing 5300 kg SES-10 satellite at T+03’48”. After cutting off first stage at T+08’33” it started ballistic phase of flight until T+26’29” when engine was started for the second time for 53 seconds. Finally SES-10 was deployed and started its planned for 15 years mission at T+32’03”.
SES-10 is communications satellite operated by SES World Skies and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space. Satellite with mass at 5300 kg was based on Eurostar-5000 bus and is equipped with 50 Ku band transponders. Powered by two deployable solar arrays and onboard batteries satellite will be placed on 67° West GEO orbital slot. It will provide TV services for Latin America for at least 15 years.