Massive Canadian Comsat Set for Nighttime Cape Canaveral Blastoff on Upgraded SpaceX Booster July 22: Watch Live

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 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     21 July 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL
  A massive Canadian commercial communications
satellite is set for a post-midnight blastoff early Sunday morning July 22 on
an upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Weather is somewhat iffy at the
moment and the Florida Space Coast has been inundated with drenching rain storms
and strong bolts of lightning periodically throughout the day and early evening.

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

Liftoff of the hefty 7.8 ton Telstar 19 VANTAGE
communications satellite is targeted for the middle-of-the-night at 1:50
a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday, July 22 on what is only the second production unit
of the upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9.

The four-hour long launch window extends until 5:50 a.m. EDT (0950
GMT). The long window will help increase the prospects of a launch. But as
always there are no guarantees.  
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 7,080 kilograms (15,600 lb) Telstar 19 is
the heaviest payload launch by a Falcon 9 to date.  It will be delivered to a geosynchronous
transfer orbit (GTO).  

Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications
sat
ellite undergoes testing at SSL prior to planned SpaceX Falcon 9
launch on July 22, 2018 from Cape Canaveral. Credit: SSL
SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage on an ocean going droneship
prepositioned in the Atlantic Ocean. 



Up Close view of landing
legs for SpaceX Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 slated to launch
T
elstar
19 VANTAGE comsat from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on  July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


If you can’t be here to watch the launch in person, you can watch
the launch live on a SpaceX hosted webcast that starts about 15 minutes prior
to the opening of the nominal launch window at:

spacex.com/webcast

The path to launch was
cleared on Wednesday afternoon July 18  after
SpaceX engineers finally completed a successful static hot fire test of their
recently upgraded Falcon 9 booster at 5 PM after another day of drenching rain
squalls and thunder claps inundated Cape Canaveral and delayed the critical
test.

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of upgraded
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 18 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Telstar 19 VANTAGE launch targeted for July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
The newly manufactured 229-foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket
rolled out this afternoon to pad 40 with
Telstar 19 encapsulated inside the payload fairing and was raised
vertical.

Check out our Space UpClose photos of
the raised rocket at the pad taken this evening at sunset during our remote
camera setup after a weather and lightning delay and our exclusive photos of
the earlier static fore test.


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

Weather
forecasters with the Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 60 percent
chance of favorable conditions during the window. 

The
primary concerns are for the Thick Cloud Layer Rule and the Cumulous Cloud
Rule.

In
case of a delay for any reason a back up launch opportunity exists on Monday, July
23 at the same time.

The
weather odds remain at 60 percent GO.

Telstar 19 VANTAGE is a Canadian owned commercial
communications satellite,  designed as an
advanced high throughput satellite (HTS) providing broadband services. 

The huge satellite was built by SSL (formerly Space
Systemes/Loral) for Telesat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators. 

Telstar 19 will operate at Telesat’s prime orbital location of 63
degrees West, the same a Telstars highly utilized 14R satellite. 

It will serve customers throughout the Americas and the Atlantic. 

Telstar 19 has a 15 year design lifetime.

In fact this is the first of two SpaceX launches planned for Telesat
over a time space about a month apart at the Cape.
The July 22 night launch will be
only the 2nd one for the new Block 5 version. 

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 will attempt to recover this new Block 5 version of
the Falcon 9 booster which replacing 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.
The hold down
static fire test is routinely carried by SpaceX to ensure all is ready with the
rocket.
During the engine test all nine Merlin 1D first stage
engines were ignited for several seconds. 
After the successful test was completed the rocket was lowered
horizontally and rolled back down the ramp and
returned to the pad 40 hanger to attach the Telstar 19 spacecraft.

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of upgraded
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 18 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Telstar 19 VANTAGE launch targeted for July 22, 2018.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


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.

Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


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

………….

Ken’s upcoming outreach events:

Learn more about the upcoming upcoming/recent
SpaceX Telstar 19, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15
launch to ISS,  SES-12 comsat
launch, Falcon Heavy, TESS, GOES-S, Bangabandhu-1,
NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s
upcoming outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL,
evenings:

Jul
21
: “SpaceX Telstar 19
Launch, SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy &
Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12 comsat. 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,
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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