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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
July 22, 2018
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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. EDT, SpaceX successfully launched the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The satellite was deployed approximately 32 minutes after liftoff. Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.


Telstar 19 VANTAGE is the latest in a new generation of Telesat satellites that combine broad regional beams and powerful high throughput satellite (HTS) spot beams in a design optimized to serve the types of bandwidth intensive applications increasingly in demand by users worldwide.

Operating from Telesat’s prime orbital location of 63 degrees West, the same as Telesat’s highly utilized Telstar 14R satellite, Telstar 19 VANTAGE will provide important advantages to Telesat customers who serve growing consumer, enterprise and mobility markets. It will have distinct zones of coverage across the Americas and Atlantic in both Ku-band and Ka-band. Ku-band coverages include: Brazil regional beam, North Atlantic regional beam and HTS spot beams over Brazil and the Andean region. Its Ka-band HTS spot beams will cover South America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and Northern Canada.

Telesat customer Hughes Network Systems LLC (Hughes) has signed a 15-year agreement for Telstar 19 VANTAGE Ka-band capacity that Hughes will utilize to expand its broadband satellite services for consumers and businesses in five South American countries. Hughes will refer to this capacity as “Hughes 63 West.” Telesat also has long-term contracts for the entire Ka-band capacity of Telstar 19 VANTAGE over Northern Canada, including providing Bell Canada subsidiary Northwestel with the HTS spot beam capacity required to enhance broadband connectivity for all 25 communities in Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory.

Following successful launch, Telstar 19 VANTAGE will enter commercial service this summer after it has completed orbit raising and in-orbit testing. The satellite was built by SSL, a Maxar Technologies company, and has a 15 year design life.

Launch Facility

Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida SpaceX’s SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is a world-class launch site that builds on a strong heritage. The site, located at the north end of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, was used for many years to launch Titan rockets, among the most powerful in the U.S. fleet. SpaceX took over the facility in May 2008.

The center of the complex is composed of the concrete launch pad and flame diverter system. Surrounding the pad are four lightning towers, propellant storage tanks, and the integration hangar. Before launch, Falcon 9’s stages and payload are housed inside the hangar. The payload is mated to the Falcon 9 inside SLC-40’s hangar on the transporter erector. The rocket and payload are then rolled out from the hangar to the launch pad and lifted to a vertical position.

3 responses to “SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite”

  1. Aerospike says:

    Was this the first ever night-time landing of a booster on a droneship or is my memory failing me?

  2. ThomasLMatula says:

    Congratulations on another success!

  3. Pete Zaitcev says:

    What is the upside of launching to GSO-2200 orbit? The satellite is heavier at separation than the case of GSO-1500, but then it burns more to make up for the shortfall, so it’s unclear to me that it carries more transponders. Is it in the cost of launch on F9 instead of FH?

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