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Used SpaceX rocket to launch SES satellite into orbit

Satellite operator SES aims to be the first company to launch a geostationary satellite on a used Falcon 9 orbital rocket booster.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on July 18, 2016.
Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images

Satellite operator SES and rocket maker SpaceX on Tuesday announced plans to launch the SES-10 satellite into orbit on a used Falcon 9 rocket. The SES-10 will replace SES's AMC-3 and AMC-4 satellites to provided expanded telecommunications coverage to Latin America.

Luxembourg-based SES said it will be the first company to ever launch a geostationary satellite on a used rocket. The launch is slated for sometime in the fourth quarter.

"Re-launching a rocket that has already delivered spacecraft to orbit is an important milestone on the path to complete and rapid reusability," Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, said in a statement. Rockets have historically been good for only a single use, but SpaceX this year succeeded in its experiments to get its Falcons to land safely as a first step toward reuse.