GovSat-1 Streaks to Orbit on Reflown SpaceX Falcon 9: Photo/Video Gallery

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying GovSat-1/SES-16
lifts off at 4:25 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to geostationary transfer orbit on Jan. 31,
2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/www.kenkremer.com

Ken Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     1 Feb
2018



CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION,
FL – The GovSat-1 telecommunications satellite streaked to orbit Jan. 31 after
a stunningly beautiful blastoff on a reflown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at
4:25 p.m. EST (2125
GMT) from seaside
Space Launch Complex-40
(SLC-40) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
under nearly picture-perfect conditions.

GovSat-1 is the first satellite of GovSat, a 50:50 public private partnership
between the Government of Luxembourg and SES, one of the world’s top satellite
operator.

Overall GovSat-1 is also
SpaceX’s
sixth mission with a flight-proven rocket and the second launch  in January.

“The launch went
perfectly and the satellite is healthy,”
SES Chief Technology Officer Martin Halliwell told Space UpClose
in an exclusive one-on-one post launch interview.


 “GovSat 1 was
delivered to its initial supersynchronous transfer orbit as planned.”
 GovSat-1 is
primarily designed for institutional use by the government of Luxembourg and aimed
at fulfilling the country’s NATO commitments, Halliwell explained.
Read my full
interview with Halliwell upcoming here soon.
In the meantime, check out our extensive Space UpClose gallery
of photos and videos captured from a variety of vantage points ringing the pad
on the Florida Space Coast as the rocket speeds to orbit – by myself and space
colleagues Jeff Seibert and Julian Leek.
And check back again later as the gallery grows!



SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying GovSat-1/SES-16
lifts off at 4:25 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to geostationary transfer orbit on Jan. 31,
2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/www.kenkremer.com


Launch of GovSat-1
on SpaceX Falcon 9 on Jan. 31, 2018 from pad 40 at
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
Credit:
Julian Leek

The two stage 229-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) SpaceX Falcon 9
rocket launched the 4.7 ton GovSat-1 satellite right on time at the opening of
the launch window.





The 9 first stage nine roaring Merlin 1 D
engines produced 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust. 




SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying GovSat-1/SES-16
streaks to orbit after liftoff at 4:25 p.m. EST on Jan.
31, 2018 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40)
on Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida to geostationary transfer orbit.  Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/www.kenkremer.com















Watch this GovSat-1
launch video compilation from space colleague Jeff Seibert:

Video
Caption: SpaceX Launches GovSat-1 on Jan. 31, 2018/ REMOTE CAMERA VIEWS
.
Credit: Jeff Seibert

Launch
of GovSat-1
on SpaceX
Falcon 9
on Jan. 31, 2018 from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, FL.
Credit: Jeff Seibert

The multi-mission
satellite was manufactured by prime contractor Orbital ATK. It has a design
lifetime of 15 years of operation in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft has a
launch mass of 4,230 kg (9326 lb). 
GovSat-1 will be located
at the 21.5 degrees East orbital slot. 
It will serve Europe,
the Middle East and Africa, including substantial maritime coverage over the
Mediterranean and Baltic seas, and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans for NATO
operations.
 
Wednesdays’ launch successfully
completed a trifecta of liftoffs from the Cape in January including another
SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the mysterious and classified Zuma spy satellite for
the US government – whos fate remains unknown- and a ULA Atlas V carrying the
SBIRS GEO Flight 4 satellite for the USAF. Read our earlier stories here.
The recycled first stage for the GovSat-1 mission was previously
used to launch the NROL-76 spy satellite on a classified mission for the
National Reconnaissance Office  (NRO) from
LC-39A in May 2017.
Although SpaceX
did not plan to again recover the booster it did conduct an experimental soft
water landing test under modified conditions relighting 3 engines instead of
one, but without a droneship to land on and expand the envelope of operation
and operability.
In the end the booster survived by tipping over and
floating in the ocean.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted this photo and caption:

“This
rocket was meant to test very high retrothrust landing in water so it didn’t
hurt the droneship, but amazingly it has survived. We will try to tow it back
to shore,” Musk explained.

Luxembourg
royalty visits CCAFS for GovSat-1 launch. Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime
Minister, Minister of Economy, Minister of Defence, Her Royal Highness the
Hereditary Grand Duchess, His Royal Highness the
Hereditary Grand Duke, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Minister of State, Minister
for Communications and Media.  Credit:
Julian Leek

GovSat-1 dignitaries
at Space Launch Complex 40 posing with 
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh,
Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg Etienne Schneider, His and Her Royal
Highness the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, Prime Minister of
Luxembourg Xavier Bettel and CEO of GovSat Patrick Biewer. 
 Credit: Ken
Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/www.kenkremer.com



Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of SpaceX Falcon
9 & Heavy, NASA, ULA and more
space
mission
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida.





Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer –
ken
at kenkremer.com




………….




Ken’s upcoming outreach events:

Learn more about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon
Heavy and Falcon 9 SES-16/GovSat-1 launches on Jan. 30 & Feb. 6, NASA
missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming
outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL:
Feb 3/5/6: “SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9
launches, ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile warning satellite, SpaceX GovSat-1,
CRS-14 resupply launches to the ISS, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing
and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules, GOES-S weather satellite launch,
OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars lander, Curiosity and Opportunity
explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn,
Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for sale


Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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