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The mission, code named NETSAT-3, began on Dec. 12, 2016 with preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base's 39B launch facility. The five-meter-diameter said Spaceport Sat. 1 becomes the 21st space mission flown by SpaceX, a California-based company founded in 2002.

Since being successfully reused nine times on Falcon 9, SpaceX has quickly become a leading player in commercial space endeavors. The groundwork laid by the company began in 2006 with the launch of Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle. The company — led by billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel — has also launched one variety of Falcon 9 rocket – the Grasshopper — 32 times.

In July, SpaceX took over as NASA's sole provider of supply flights to and from the International Space Station, becoming the agency's first contractor to launch a capsule up into space since 1999.

SpaceX has no prior experience launching satellites into "geosynchronous transfer orbit" (GTO), a unique vertical region where Earth's orbit intersects the orbital plane of our satellite carrier. SpaceX plans to use a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle to begin human spaceflight missions from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at the end of the decade.

The flight, 38 a in 22 days, sent a Dragon cargo craft crammed with nearly 1,800 pounds of supplies, experiments and gear for the station into low Earth orbit. Upon arrival, the DSCOVR spacecraft deployed a pair of telescopes for the U.S. military's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The deployment of a pair of 3-meter observatories to space by a commercial company marks another milestone for NASA's efforts to turn America's planetary science capabilities into a sector or class of investment.

Among one of the principal drivers of this said investment is exeosat development, an open architecture that will place massive computing power and spacecraft launch facilities in geosynchronous orbit in a single commercial payload, helping to decrease launch costs while widening the mix of home-grown spacecraft that can conduct science.

The final SES 13 satellite, its total cargo and science payload, now makes up in excess of 95 percent of the U.S. geostationary constellation, representing an eventual cost saving of at least $20 billion over all current space missions.

An ongoing investigation by SES 13-2, one of 22 satellites poised for launch by SES next month, was pivotal in helping to pave the way for this deployment.

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