Lucky number 13: SpaceX sends Telstar satellite into orbit


Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket delivered Telesat of Canada's Telstar-19 giant Vantage communications satellite into orbit in a textbook launch in the early hours of July 22nd from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX launched the first block 5 rocket in May and will launch a third from California next week. The extra power available because of Block 9 full thrust version of the rocket was hugely useful in lifting Telstar-19 with its 7076 kgs of launch weight.

The 19V is the latest in a new generation of satellites with capacity optimised to serve bandwidth-intensive applications and will be followed in a few weeks by the Telstar 18V satellite, also to be launched by SpaceX, which will serve Asia (China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region).

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The Telstar 19 Vantage is a communications satellite in the Telstar series of Telesat.

The most recent version of workhorse Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX launched for the 2nd time ever on July 22, brightening the skies over the Space Coast in Florida in a stunning predawn lift-off.

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Rapidly accelerating as it consumed its load of propellants and lost weight, the rocket arced away to the east over the Atlantic Ocean trailing a long jet of fiery exhaust visible for miles around. To date, SpaceX has successfully landed more than two dozen Falcon 9 first stages and re-flown landed boosters on more than a dozen occasions. The second stage took over at that point, firing its single engine to continue the climb to space.

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The satellite lofted this morning, called Telstar 19V, is headed for geostationary orbit, about 22,250 miles (35,800 kilometers) above Earth. Its orbit is over the equator. The satellite has a mix of traditional Ku-band wide beams and Ku- and Ka-band spot beams for connectivity services including internet for consumers, stores, offices and mobile platforms like boats and airplanes.