Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a communication satellite

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a communication satellite

SpaceX is expecting to launch another Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 25. On the other hand, the previous iteration of the booster, Block 4, could manage only two flights.

The Telstar 19 Vantage satellite, or Telstar 19V, will provide high-throughput communications to users in South America, the Caribbean, northeast Canada and the north Atlantic.

The upper stage continued into orbit, and deployed the Telstar 19 VANTAGE spacecraft around 33 minutes into the mission, notching SpaceX's 31st successful launch in a row. And after the Telstar 19 V is launched into space, the first stage of the Falcon 9 Block 5 will return to Earth for a landing on the SpaceX drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You".

This will be the second launch of a block 5 first stage which is created to be launched and landed up to 10 times without refurbishment.

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Telstar-19 Vantage is the first of two SSL-built satellites SpaceX is launching for Canadian fleet operator Telesat this year.

The Falcon 9 launch is scheduled to take place between 1:50 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. EDT (05:50 to 09:50 GMT), with the rocket taking off from Launch Complex 40. On Wednesday, July 18, SpaceX successfully test-fired the first stage's nine Merlin engines at full power, before lowering the rocket and rolling it back to a nearby hangar to attach the satellite payload. Now that the company has fully transitioned to this more reusable model, rocket recovery will be an even more crucial part of the launch. "The satellite has a mix of Ka- and Ku-band capacity.

So, in addition to being able to kick back and enjoy an in-flight movie or check your email from 35,000 feet, the aircraft crews and the maintenance teams are also able to benefit from this in-flight connectivity", said Brian Mahlstedt during SpaceX's launch webcast.

Telesat hopes to follow up Sunday's launch with a second Falcon 9 flight in August to boost the Telstar 18V relay station into orbit.

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