SpaceX’ s reusable rocket launches a Qatar satellite
17 November, 2018, 22:25 | Author: Darnell Taylor
The drone ship had already set off from Port Canaveral on November 11 as Falcon 9 B1047 is put onto the Pad 39A for a pre-flight static fire test wherein the rocket will be refilled with a complement of fluids along with nine Merlin 1D engines ignition check prior to the real launch. It will land on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, out in the Atlantic Ocean. The first go-round came in July when the booster helped launch the Telstar 19 Vantage satellite and came back down for recovery and refurbishment. It will be refurbished and launched for a third time as part of SpaceX's plan to cut down launch costs.
It is noted that the current launch was the 18th this year. Another Falcon 9, scheduled for launch Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, will be the first to fly three times.
Cargo includes an Es'hail-2, a communications satellite for Qatar.
In addition to providing more bandwidth for Qatar, the satellite also carries transponders for use by amateur, or ham, radio operators. About 32 minutes later, the rocket successfully deployed its payload, the Es'hail-2 communications satellite, into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit. The new satellite will provide telecommunication services to the Middle East and North Africa.
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Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket capable of re-flight.
To get there, the satellite's on-board propulsion system will be used to raise the low-point of the orbit and maneuver the spacecraft into the proper position to serve the Middle East. The rocket experienced some serious problems along the way, but the company's number of successful launches has nearly made them boring over the past few years.
Ali al-Kuwari, president and CEO of Es'hailSat, said earlier: "We are very excited about the upcoming launch of Es'hail-2, the second in our planned fleet of satellites".
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