After a few delays because of weather, SpaceX finally delivered a heavy communications satellite (AMOS-17) today into a geostationary transfer orbit. The launch was originally scheduled for Saturday, August 3, 2019, but got pushed to Wednesday, August 6, 2019, due to weather delays. Even tho there were storms all around the cape, the rocket lifted off at 7:23 p.m. EDT, just 30 minutes of the original T-0.
While waiting at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the launch, lightning could be seen further towards the west. Nonetheless, SpaceX seized the opportunity of getting a break of the storms at Space Launch Complex 40.
The booster which supported today’s mission has flown twice before:
- Es’hail 2 (November 2018)
- Telstar 19 VANTAGE (July 2018)
However, SpaceX is not trying to recover this booster due to mission requirements by lifting a heavy satellite into orbit. The landing legs were also removed, which saves weight and money as they can be probably reused on another booster. With 6.5-ton, the communications satellite will provide increased connectivity to Africa by deploying it to the 17E orbital position, right over central Africa. The AMOS-17 satellite was built by Spacecom using Boeing’s advanced digital payload technology. AMOS-17 is planned to be in operation for at least 20 years.
The satellite was successfully deployed at approximately T+32 minutes. This is the tenth launch for SpaceX in this year. Even though booster recovery was not attempted, SpaceX was able to recover at least one of the fairing halves. The two support ships GO Ms. Tree and Go Navigator set sail for the recovery area in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week.
Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat pic.twitter.com/nJv0Ry1iKk
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019
Isn’t that a beautiful sight, seeing a fairing halve land so smoothly in Go Ms. Tree’s net?
The photo above of Go Ms. Tree was taken on the Saturday just before the launch. Go Ms. Tree was docked at Port Canaveral, awaiting its mission to catch a fairing halve.
Webcast AMOS-17 Mission
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
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