SpaceX delivers to orbit communications satellites

Three days after delivering ten Iridium satellites from Vandenberg, SpaceX managed to launch Falcon-9 with communications satellite for SES and Echostar under the payload fairing. Launch took place at Kennedy Space Center.

Single satellite with payload shared by SES and Echostar was successfully delivered today under the payload fairing of Falcon-9 FT. Delivering of payload was followed by successful landing of the first stage of the Falcon-9 on drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” positioned 300 km east of Cape Canaveral.

Falcon-9 with SES-11/Echostar-105 should be launched one year ago but sue the serious delay affecting SpaceX flight schedule, it was launched on October 11, 2017.

Rocket with satellite was launched punctually at 22:53 UTC, October 11, from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Rocket supported by nine Merlin-1D engines performed perfect lift off and after correct separation at around T+2'35", booster begun its way to Earth. It is worth to remind that first stage was already used once and in total it was third refurbished booster used in the commercial mission in the history of flights of Falcon-9.

Separation was performed flawlessly. After reducing altitude from 119 km booster performed reentry burn and started to reduce speed using its three engines at T+6'28". After another few seconds booster gently touched deck of the drone ship at 23:02 UTC.

In the same time second stage  jettisoned fairing at T+3'40" and cut off its engine at T+8'38". After lasting 18 minutes ballistic phase of flight second stage performed another burn lasting 56 seconds at T+27'5" and after reaching elliptical GTO orbit it deployed satellite at T+36.

SES-11/Echostar-105 after deploying solar arrays and reporting its good condition will start its journey to GEO slot 105° West using own propulsion. It will be commissioned in following months and will replace AMC-15 satellite used by Echostar since 2004.

SES-11/Echostar-105 is communications satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space for SES and Echostar. It is based on Eurostar-3000 bus, weighs 5200 kg and is powered by two deployable solar arrays. Its payload are 24 Ku and 24 C band transponders consuming 12 kW of power. Satellite will cover with its Ku band range U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean providing media distribution and networking services for Echostar customers, while C band payload will provide video and data services for SES.

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