— SpaceUpClose.com — 10 September 2018
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL
– A powerful Canadian commercial
communications satellite thundered to orbit through
residual thin clouds just past midnight this morning on
an upgraded and newly manufactured SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, following the intervention of hefty thunderstorms that unexpectedly
doused the Spaceport and delayed the liftoff more than an hour from just before
midnight Sunday into the wee hours of Monday, September 10. STORY UPDATED with text/imagery.
Nevertheless the Falcon 9 rocket put
on a spectacular sky show after the clouds cleared and the rains moved on and successfully
delivered the Telstar 18v (or 18 Vantage) to its intended orbit for satellite
operator Telesat headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.
Telestar 18v will serve hordes of
customers across the vast Asia-Pacific region.
The thunderstorms delayed fueling of
announced today the successful launch of its new Telstar 18 VANTAGE high
throughput satellite (HTS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket,” the company
Check out our Space UpClose photos of
the stunning launch.
solar arrays and began on orbit thruster maneuvers as planned to reach its designated
final geostationary orbit (GEO) at an altitude of some 22,500 mi (36,000 km)
In fact this
was the second of two SpaceX launches conducted for Telesat over a time span about seven weeks apart at the Cape. The first being Telestar 19v on July
18 VANTAGE is the latest example of how Telesat’s innovative payload designs
provide our customers with the advantages they need to compete successfully in
today’s satellite service markets,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and
CEO, in a statement.
18 VANTAGE is a state-of-the art spacecraft that not only replaces Telstar 18,
a satellite in wide use across Asia and the Pacific, but brings far greater
capabilities including Ku-band mobility coverage and HTS spot beams that will
allow Telesat to grow our presence in the region. We would like to thank SpaceX
for the successful launch of Telstar 18 VANTAGE and for their dedication and
professionalism throughout this mission.”
SpaceX engineers also recovered the
Falcon 9 first stage on an ocean-going platform and eventual reuse at some
point in the future.
telecommunications satellite (HTS) which is designed to serve the Asia Pacific
region finally took place at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT) September 10 from
seaside Space launch Complex-40
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL – some 1 hour and 17 minutes later
than planned from the original pre-midnight launch time of 11:28 p.m. EDT Sunday,
9 rocket rolled out Sunday afternoon to pad 40 with Telstar 18v
encapsulated inside the payload fairing and was raised vertical.
Propellant loading began at T- Minus 35 minutes after
verification from the SpaceX Launch Director with the
liquid oxygen is chilled to about minus 340 degrees F (minus 206 degrees C).
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 engines mounted in an octoweb
The first and
second stages separated 2 minutes and 33 seconds after liftoff.
The second stage ignited for the first time at 2 minutes 45
seconds followed by payload fairing deployment at 3 minutes 29 seconds.
The rockets ascent to orbit was visible for more than 4 minutes during
the climb to orbit as it arced over eastwards through thin clouds over
the Atlantic Ocean towards Africa, until disappearing
in the far distance behind thicker clouds near the Earth’s horizon.
duration streak shot of Telstar 18v comsat launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station pad 40 in Florida at 12:45 a.m.
EDT, September 10, 2018 – as seen from Melbourne Beach. Credit; Julian Leek
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 launch team to wait for better weather conditions – which is exactly what
happened during near ideal conditions.
payload launched by a Falcon 9 to date. The
recently launched Telstar 19v was literally just a tad heavier by some 20 kg (35
pounds) at 7,080 kilograms (15,600 lb).
concept of Telstar 18v
32 minutes after liftoff.
It was delivered to a preliminary geosynchronous transfer orbit
Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 to fly from the Cape and the fourth overall.
Telstar 18 VANTAGE is a Canadian owned commercial communications
satellite, designed as an advanced high
throughput satellite (HTS) providing broadband services.
It will replace Telstar 18 currently on orbit.
The huge satellite was built by SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral)
for Telesat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators.
The satellite is reported healthy
by SSL and Telesat.
“SSL today announced that an advanced communications satellite it
built for Telesat, a leading global satellite operator, was launched yesterday
night and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan,”
said SSL in a statement.
“The satellite, called Telstar 18 VANTAGE,
deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard a SpaceX
Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.”
Telstar 18 VANTAGE is the third high throughput satellite
(HTS) in Telesat’s global fleet and the first with coverage over the Asia
“Its innovative payloads will provide Telesat’s customers
with a new level of performance and value to serve growing satellite broadband
requirements on land, at sea and in the air,” according to Telstar.
will operate at Telesat’s 138 degrees West location, the same as the Telstar 18
satellite it is replacing.
serve customers throughout the Asia Pacific region.
18 VANTAGE will replace and expand on the capabilities of Telesat’s Telstar 18
satellite with its extensive C-band capacity over Asia, its Ku-band HTS spot
beams over Indonesia and Malaysia, and its five additional regional Ku-band
beams,” said Telstar in a statement.
from 138 degrees East, the satellite’s coverage reaches across Asia all the way
to Hawaii – in both C and Ku-band – enabling direct connectivity between any
point in Asia and the Americas. Its innovative Ku-band payloads of HTS spot
beams and focused regional beams will provide customers operating in Southeast
Asia, Mongolia, Australia & New Zealand, and the North Pacific Ocean with
greater choice and flexibility to serve today’s bandwidth intensive
has a 15 year design lifetime.
“This is our second very advanced high throughput
satellite that we provided to Telesat this summer,” said Dario Zamarian, group
president of SSL.
“I would like to thank Telesat for putting
its confidence in SSL and for working with us as a team to make this mission a
success. The exceptional performance and capacity SSL integrated into Telstar
18 VANTAGE demonstrates how we, together with our long term colleagues at
Telesat, are providing next-generation space systems that improve lives here on
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