SpaceX launches Spanish satellite for 50th successful Falcon 9 mission

07 March, 2018, 07:27 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • SpaceX once again ready to take off Spanish satellite to International Space Station

The company intends to launch a Hispasat 30W-6 spacecraft, a Spanish commercial communications satellite, to a geostationary transfer orbit, according to NASA. The aerospace company hopes to launch a fleet of more than 1,000 satellites as part its planned space-based internet system.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk shared his reactions via a Twitter post after the successful launch. In that duration, the Falcon 9 placed the Spanish satellite in GTO at an altitude of around 37,000 km above the Earth. "At 6 metric tons and nearly the size of a city bus, it will be the largest geostationary satellite we've ever flown", SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter on Monday (March 5).

The satellite aims to expand television, broadband and telecommunications service in Europe and northwest Africa.

It was placed in a geo-stationary orbit minutes later where it will now be testing its functionalities for several weeks.

SpaceX has been flying the Falcon 9 since mid-2010. You can check back here before the launch and watch it in the player above.

The launch had been previously delayed and ran over a week late. A SpaceX spokesperson stated that the agency will not try to recover the rockets and boosters jettisoned after lifting the payload to the appropriate altitude due to inappropriate weather conditions near the coast of Florida. "Built on the SSL 1300 satellite platform, Hispasat 30W-6 is expected to have a useful life of 15 years with 10.5 kW power".

Tuesday's launch marked the 50th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, and the fourth Falcon 9 flight of the 2018.

Flash forward to today: SpaceX has landed Falcon boosters 23 times and re-flown boosters nine times, including two on last month's inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy, the world's new most powerful rocket.

Now that the Hispasat launch is behind SpaceX, the company can prepare for an extremely busy March, and spring schedule in general.



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