SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launches powerful telecom satellite into orbit

Sept. 10 (UPI) — SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched early Monday morning, carrying a powerful telecommunications satellite into orbit.

The rocket blasted off from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at approximately 12:55 E.T.

The rocket’s first stage went smoothly and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean via the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship about 10 minutes later.

The rocket’s second stage then reached orbit about 35 minutes after liftoff.

Engineers successfully test-fired the rocket’s engines last week. The launch was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but on Thursday, SpaceX officials announced a 24-hour delay.

“Now targeting September 9 launch of Telstar 18 VANTAGE from Pad 40 in Florida,” SpaceX wrote on Twitter. “Rocket and payload are healthy; additional time will be used to complete pre-flight checkouts.

SpaceX has yet to offer a specific reason for the delay, but the forecast for Saturday was iffy. Sunday was likely to offer clearer, stiller skies.

Once in operation, the satellite will provide Telesat and APT Satellite with C-band and Ku-band spectrum, boosting communications services for customers, including governments and broadcast providers, in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 15,564-pound satellite will spend at least 15 years in orbit.


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