SpaceX launches heavy Falcon 9 satellite despite heavy weather

Cristina Cross
September 12, 2018

While the previous Telstar mission launched on a reused Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket in July, Monday's launch relied on a spanking new rocket.

With a bit more than 75 miles under its belt half a day after landing, Falcon 9 should crest the horizon East of Port Canaveral as early as Wednesday morning, giving SpaceX technicians maybe 24 hours to attempt to secure the rocket and/or transport it to a hurricane-rated building in the unlikely but possible event that Florence veers South towards Cape Canaveral over the next two days. Just like the Telstar 19V, the spacecraft hitched a ride into space atop a brand-new "Block 5" booster. "The satellite has a 15-year design life".

The four-hour launch window begins at 11:28 p.m.

The rocket launched from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at around 12:55 E.T.

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The rocket's first stage went easily and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean by means of the "Of Course I Still Love You" ramble transport around 10 minutes after the fact.

"We don't have a view but we hear recovery calling out, 'Falcon 9 has landed, '" Falcon 9 principal integration engineer John Insprucker said during the livestream. Built by the California-based aerospace company SSL, the satellite is created to last about 15 years in orbit.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices and facilities around the world, the company's state-of-the-art fleet consists of 17 GEO satellites, the Canadian payload on ViaSat-1 and one Phase 1 LEO satellite which is the start of Telesat's planned global LEO satellite constellation that will offer low latency, high throughput broadband services.

According to a statement by Telesat, the satellite will "provide extensive C-band coverage of Asia that reaches from India and Pakistan in the West all the way to Hawaii in the East, enabling direct connectivity from any point in Asia to the Americas". That gap between launches was the longest since late 2017, when a month and a half passed between Falcon 9 launches of Koreasat 5A and a Dragon cargo resupply mission.

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