Launch provider SpaceX has successfully deployed the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite for Canadian communications company Telesat. At 7,080 kilograms (15,600 lb), the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite is the heaviest payload that SpaceX has launched into a geostationary transfer orbit.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Telstar communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 05:50 GMT (13:50 EDT) on Sunday, July 22. Following a successful launch, the Falcon 9 booster reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and touched down safely on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship.
The Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite was developed and built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) and features two high throughput payloads. The first is a Ku-band the and the other is a Ka-band. The satellite will be deployed into orbit 63° West over the Americas with Telesat’s Telstar 14R satellite. The satellite will provide communication services to Canada, North America, the Caribbean, and territories in South America.
Yesterday’s launch was the second flight of a SpaceX Block 5 Falcon 9. The upgraded variant of the launch provider’s flagship rocket was first launched on May 11, 2018. However, it was later revealed that there were several upgraded Block 5 components that had not yet been installed. It is unclear whether or not this second Block 5 Falcon 9 had the full range of upgrades installed.