Commercial satellite operator SES has decided to risk flying its 5,300 kg SES-10 satellite to a geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on a “reused reusable” first stage Falcon 9V1.2 FT launch vehicle (Seradata annotates this as a Falcon 9V1.2 FT-RR). The terms of the contract have not been disclosed but it is thought likely that the firm will have negotiated a discount for the launch which will take place in the fourth quarter of this year – with October previously indicated as the date.
However, the price reduction is thought to be less than the hoped for eventual 30% reduction in launch costs over current fully expendable flights of the Falcon 9 series. The identity of the reused rocket stage has not yet been disclosed. Space insurance rates are reported to be similar to those using a standard launch.