SpaceX Es’hail-2 satellite launch successfully reused a Falcon 9 rocket

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 16, 2018

SpaceX previously used this Block 5 booster for the July launch of Telesat's Telstar 19 Vantage satellite. If that happens, it would be a major first to see the same rocket successfully carry out three orbital missions.

SpaceX is targeting launch of the Es'hail-2 satellite on Thursday, November 15 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Knifing through an overcast sky, the rocket quickly disappeared from view, leaving a slowly fading rumble in its wake. Two firings were planned to put the Es'hail 2 communications satellite into the required elliptical "transfer" orbit 32 minutes after liftoff.

In addition to launching the satellite, SpaceX had said it would attempt to land the rocket on a drone ship for reuse.

An artist's impression of the Es'hail 2 communications satellite in orbit.

The Japanese-built Es'hail-2 satellite is the second in a series of spacecraft created to provide satellite TV and secure communication services across the Middle East and North Africa. Es'hail-1, Qatar's earlier satellite, was deployed in August 2013 in partnership with Eutelsat, a French telecommunications operator.

Es'hailSat's first satellite entered service in December 2013 and now provides direct-to-home television content, business communications and other telecommunications services.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 successfully landed on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean and could potentially be recycled for a third launch.

It also features the first Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation - AMSAT - payload to fly aboard a geostationary satellite, providing coverage stretching from Brazil to Thailand.

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