Beefed Up SpaceX Falcon 9 Blazes Beautiful Nighttime Trail to Orbit Carrying Hefty Telstar 19V Telecomsat: Photos

Streak Shot! Beefed Up SpaceX Falcon 9 blazes trail to
geostationary orbit carrying massive Telstar 19 VANTAGE
telecom satellite
after launch at 1:50 a.m. EDT, July 22,
2018 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL – seen in this
long duration exposure photo taken
as the rocket soars over the Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville, Fl.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     22 July 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL
  After drenching rain storms and strong
bolts of lightning repeatedly pelted the Florida Space Coast throughout the day
and early evening Saturday, a beefed up SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blazed a beautiful
trail to orbit with a middle-of-the-night Sunday morning (July 22) blastoff of the
hefty Telstar 19v telecomsat for the Americas – squeezing in between a break in
the violent weather afflicting central Florida
all week.  



The magnificent post-midnight liftoff of
the massive 7.8 ton Telstar 19 VANTAGE (or Telstar 19v)
Canadian commercial telecommunications satellite atop the
upgraded Falcon 9
took place right at the opening of the lengthy launch window at
1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday, July 22 from seaside
Space launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL.  



Telstar 19 VANTAGE is reportedly the largest
and heaviest commercial communications satellite ever launched to geostationary
orbit some
22,000 miles (35,000 km) over the equator – weighing in at 7,080 kilograms (15,600 lb).



The
Telstar-owned satellite will deliver new high throughput Ku and Ka-band capacity
across the Americas and Atlantic.





SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Telstar 19v telecomsat from Space Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
at 1:50 a.m. EDT, July 22, 2018 –
in this remote camera view from pad40
.
 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 

Propellant loading began at T- Minus 35 minutes after
verification from the SpaceX Launch Director. 



The liquid oxygen
(LOX)/RP-1 fueled Falcon 9 first stage ignited with 1.8 million pounds of
liftoff thrust powered by nine Merlin 1D engine mounted in an octoweb arrangement.



The first and
second stages separated 2 minutes and 33 seconds after liftoff.



The second stage ignited for the first time at 2 minutes 24
seconds followed by payload fairing deployment at 3 minutes 40 seconds. 



Just minutes later, the Falcon 9’s first
stage booster made a successful touchdown on the ocean going
“Of Course I Still
Love You”
drone ship platform
at sea – prepositioned some 400 miles (640 km) off shore in the Atlantic Ocean. 



The Telstar 19v craft
successfully separated from the Falcon 9 upper stage as planned for deployment 33
minutes after liftoff.



All the mission action was
broadcast live on a SpaceX hosted webcast.








Launch
of SpaceX Falcon 9 with Telstar 19v on July 22, 2018 from Cape Canaveral, FL.
Credit: Julian Leek




The Telstar launch put on a spectacular sky show for hordes of
space enthusiasts who traveled from near and far to witness the tremendous
sight – and packed area hotels.



SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Telstar 19v telecomsat from Space Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
at 1:50 a.m. EDT, July 22, 2018 –
in this remote camera view from pad40
.
 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

I watched from nearby Titusville to capture a different eyewitness
perspective from my normal on base  viewing
locations on the Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – as my sound activated cameras
captured all the breathtaking action for Space UpClose directly at launch pad 40.


Check out my long duration steak shots (above and below) of the Falcon 9 with
Telstar 19v
as
the rocket blazed a picturesque trail over the Max Brewer Bridge. 




Streak Shot! Beefed Up SpaceX Falcon 9 blazes trail to
geostationary orbit carrying massive Telstar 19 VANTAGE
telecom satellite
after launch at 1:50 a.m.
EDT,
July 22, 2018 from Space Launch
Complex-40 on
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL – seen in this long duration exposure photo taken as the
rocket soars over the Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville,
Fl. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The newly built two stage 229-foot tall (70-meter) SpaceX Falcon
9 rocket successfully delivered the
Telstar 19 VANTAGE comsat to a
geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) for  Telesat, one of the world’s leading commercial
satellite operators. 





The Falcon 9 rocket was rolled out Saturday
afternoon to pad 40 and raised vertical with
Telstar 19 encapsulated inside the payload fairing and then inundated
with heavy rain squalls.  

Beautiful sunset view of
raised Falcon 9 upgraded Block 5 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 for SpaceX middle
of the night 1:50 AM ET launch of massive 
Telstar 19 VANTAGE
comsat from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station targeted for July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This was only the second production unit of SpaceX’s significantly
upgraded Block 5 version of their workhorse  Falcon 9 rocket. 


Upright upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 for
SpaceX 1:50 AM ET overnight launch of 7.8 ton T
elstar 19 VANTAGE comsat from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station targeted for July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
The first Block 5 launched on May 11 from the Kennedy Space Center
Launch Complex-39A with the Bangabandhu-1 comsat for the nation of Bangladesh.
Telstar 19 VANTAGE is a Canadian owned commercial communications
satellite,  designed as an advanced high
throughput satellite (HTS) providing broadband services.

It is equipped with both Ku-band and Ka-band antennas to provide services
covering  both North and South America and
the Atlantic region.



Up
Close view of nose cone encapsulating T
elstar
19 VANTAGE comsat bolted atop SpaceX upgraded Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 slated for launch
from
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The huge American-built satellite was manufactured  by SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral) in
Palo Alto, California,
for Telesat, one of the world’s leading
satellite operators.
Telstar 19v will operate at Telesat’s prime orbital location of 63
degrees West, the same as Telstars highly utilized 14R satellite.
It will serve customers throughout the Americas and the Atlantic.

Telstar 19v has a 15 year design lifetime.   It is expected to enter service this summer after completing orbit
raising boosts and in-orbit testing and checkout of spacecraft systems.

In fact this is the first of two SpaceX launches planned for Telesat
over a time span only about a month apart at the Cape.
Telstar 18 VANTAGE is due to liftoff in the second half of August
from pad 40.
“Telesat has worked closely with SSL and the Maxar family of
companies for many years and we are pleased to have collaborated with them on
our newest Telstar VANTAGE high throughput satellites,” said Dan Goldberg,
President and CEO of Telesat, in a prelaunch statement.
 “These state-of-the-art
spacecraft are going to provide important competitive advantages for our
customers across the Americas and Asia. It’s great news that Telstar 19 VANTAGE
is now at the launch base and that Telstar 18 VANTAGE is nearly finished and in
the queue to ship.”






The Block 5 Falcon 9 will be cheaper to produce and much
easier to turnaround with minimal maintenance, says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. His
goal is to relaunch a recovered Block 5 a second time within 24 hours by
sometime next year.
SpaceX successfully recovered this new Block 5 version of
the Falcon 9 booster which replaces the older, now discontinued Block 4.
The last Block 4 launched in late June for NASA on the
Dragon CRS-15 resupply mission to the ISS.
This
was SpaceX’s 13th launch of the year. 



Prelaunch
sunset view of SpaceX Falcon 9 with Telstar 19v at pad 40 on Cape Canaveral, FL.
Credit: Julian Leek


The
next launch is set for Vandenberg AFB, CA at 7:39
a.m. EDT,  4:39 a.m. PDT (1139 GMT)
Wednesday, July 25 with 10 Iridium NEXT voice and data relay satellites.
The
next SpaceX launch from the Cape is set for August 2 at
1:19 a.m. EDT (0519 GMT) with the Merah Putih communications satellite for Telkom
Indonesia and also built by SSL.



Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

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

Artist’s concept of the Telstar 19
VANTAGE communications satellite. Credit: SSL

Beautiful sunset view of
raised Falcon 9 upgraded Block 5 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 for SpaceX middle
of the night 1:50 AM ET launch of massive 
Telstar 19 VANTAGE
comsat from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station targeted for July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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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