SpaceX has successfully launched the Telstar 18 Vantage satellite for Canadian telecommunications giant, Telesat. The satellite is second largest to ever be launched into a geostationary transfer orbit surpassed only by the Telstar 19V, launched aboard another Falcon 9 earlier this year.
The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 04:45 UTC (00:45 EDT) on Monday, September 10, 2018. Following first stage separation, the Falcon 9’s booster touched down safely on the SpaceX Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Thirty-two minutes after the rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, the Telestar 18 Vantage was successfully inserted into a geostationary transfer orbit at 138 degrees east. Officials from Telesat later confirmed that the satellite was operating nominally under its own power.
Weighing in at 7,060 kilograms, the Telestar 18 Vantage was built by Space Systems Loral for Telesat. The satellite will replace the company’s Telestar 18 satellite providing C-band capacity to the Asia Pacific region. The new satellite will also provide Ku-band HTS spot beams focused regionally for customers in Southeast Asia, Mongolia, Australia & New Zealand, and the North Pacific Ocean.
The next Falcon 9 launch is currently scheduled for October 7, 2018. The launch will deploy the SAOCOM Earth observation satellite for the Argentine Space Agency, CONAE. The launch will be the second to utilise a flight-proven Falcon 9 first stage with the booster having previously 10 Iridium Next satellites in July.