SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Carrying The Intelsat 35e Satellite Launches Successfully
(Photo : SciNews/YouTube screenshot)
SpaceX successfully launched yet another Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday, making it the third launch in under two weeks for the company. The recent launch took place from the Launch Complex 39A facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
According to CNN, the Intelsat 35e mission launched an orbital communications satellite built by Boeing for SpaceX client Intelsat. The Falcon 9 rocket launched the Intelsat 35e satellite to a high-up geostationary transfer orbit. The craft will eventually travel to geostationary orbit 35,800 kilometers (22,245 miles) above Earth.
The satellite is designed to facilitate high throughput network capability for video applications and broadband for a geographic region comprising the Caribbean and parts of Africa and Europe. The aerospace manufacturing company did not attempt to land the reusable Falcon 9 first-stage booster.
The launch took place after two aborted attempts and a three-day delay. The launch was originally supposed to take place on Sunday evening but was aborted with only 10 seconds left in the countdown. The reason behind aborting the launch was the acceptable limits set on the rocket guidance systems. There was nothing technically wrong with the rocket itself. A second attempt took place on Monday and that too saw the countdown stall at 10 seconds due to automated override. This occurred because the first phase did not match a pre-launch figure.
Incidentally, SpaceX launched a Bulgarian communications satellite with a pre-flown stage booster on June 23 from Launch Complex 39A. The company made another launch within two days of this on June 25 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, when it sent 10 communication satellites.
According to Space.com, SpaceX has a backlog of more than 70 missions at present. A part of the reason can be attributed to the incident that took place on Sep. 1, 2016, when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch pad -- two days before the scheduled launch. After that incident, the company had stopped all scheduled launches to first determine the cause of the explosion. SpaceX finally returned to flight in January this year.