SpaceX Falcon 9 Stunning Nighttime Streak Delivers JCSAT/KACIFIC Asian Internet Comsat to Orbit: Photos

SpaceX Falcon 9 steaks to orbit in this long exposure image from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FIRCE STATION, FL – A twice recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket put on a stunning sky show at dinnertime tonight, Monday Dec. 16, streaking to space and darting in and out of clouds that passed over the Cape in the final moments before liftoff from the Florida Space Coast to successfully deliver the Boeing-built JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat to geostationary transfer orbit that will serve millions in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.

Tonight beautiful SpaceX launch is the opening salvo of a double-barreled series of blastoffs next week on the Florida Space Coast that concludes with the historic first blastoff of Boeing’s Starliner astronaut ferryship on Friday, Dec. 20 on a ULA Atlas V.

SpaceX carried out an on time liftoff of their recycled Falcon 9 rocket at 7:10 p.m. EST Monday (0010 GMT Tuesday) with JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellites Group.

SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for successful delivery JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 

Precisely on time all 9 Merlin 1D engines ignited to generate 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust and the Falcon 9 rocket roared off pad 40 soaring to orbit for a marvelous display of cutting edge rocketry.

As the 229 foot tall (70 m) rocket leaped off the pad it generated a spectacular water reflection in the waters at our Cape Canaveral AFS viewing site and elsewhere around the Space Coast.

Enjoy our Space UpClose photos directly from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Launch Complex 40.

SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for successful delivery JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019 as seen in this remote camera view from pad 40. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The 7.7 ton JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat payload was deployed 33 minutes after liftoff.

This recycled Falcon 9 previously supported the CRS-17 and CRS-18 missions involving the SpaceX Dragon on cargo resupply missions for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS).

Both those cargo missions launched earlier this year on the Falcon 9 now recycled to a third mission for the Dec. 16 comsat launch for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Kacific Broadband Satellites Group.

SpaceX Falcon 9 darts in and out of clouds soaring to orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

And SpaceX just launched the CRS-19 resupply mission for NASA to the ISS last week on Dec. 5.

Read our articles and enjoy all our Space UpClose photos and coverage of all 3 mission and more.

SpaceX Falcon 9 steaks to orbit in this long exposure image from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

And SpaceX just launched the CRS-19 resupply mission for NASA to the ISS last week on Dec. 5.
Read our articles and enjoy all our Space UpClose photos and coverage of all 3 mission and more.

The launch was the 13th of the year for SpaceX coming just 11 days after launch of the CRS-19 mission.

SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for successful delivery JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

At 11 days it also marks the fastest turnaround ever between SpaceX launches from the same – in this case Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX Falcon 9 darts in and out of clouds soaring to orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX also successfully recovered and soft landed the Falcon 9 first stage on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ (OCISLY) droneship about 8 minutes after liftoff – vis precision guided rocket assisted touchdown safe and upright.

The droneship landing marked the 47th successful booster landing by land and by sea.

OCISLY is now being towed back to Port Canaveral for recycling to a new launch.

SpaceX Falcon 9 darts in and out of clouds soaring to orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX did also attempt to recover the payload fairings with their fairing catching ships GO MS TREE and GO MS CHIEF about 45 minutes after liftoff, but they narrowly missed the giant nets.
Crews are now working to recover the fairing out of the salty sea waters and recycle them also to a future launch.

The 15,335-pound (6,956-kilogram) JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 spacecraft launched into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit, and is now using its on-board liquid-fueled engine to maneuver into a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator.

The JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 spacecraft satellite is based on the Boeing 702 satellite platform and will expand communication capabilities for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Artists concept of JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 communications satellite. Credit: Kacific

 

The JCSAT-18 satellite was built for SKY Perfect JSAT, one of the largest providers of multichannel pay TV broadcast services in Japan, which operates the largest satellite communications business in Asia. The JCSAT-18 satellite will provide Ku-band coverage and improve mobile and broadband services for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation customers in the Asia-Pacific region, including the far eastern part of Russia.

The satellite features technologies in the power subsystem to achieve highest efficiencies, and it also features command and data handling technologies to provide a more secure spacecraft. Boeing has built 13 satellites, including two high-throughput satellites, for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and its predecessors since the 1980s, per the press kit.

Kacific1 is a next-generation geostationary satellite operating in the Ka-band frequency spectrum. Its 56 high-throughput spot beams will place capacity over selected regions in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Deployed to a geostationary orbital position above Asia Pacific, Kacific1 will transmit to stateof-the-art gateways, designed and built by Kratos. Kacific1 will connect previously unserved or under-served populations with affordable, high-speed broadband for healthcare, education, government services, businesses, and disaster relief. Its services will stimulate economic growth and provide greater access to the internet.

Long range view of 9 Merlin 1D engines firing as SpaceX Falcon 9 arcs over and streaks to orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Long range view of 9 Merlin 1D engines firing as SpaceX Falcon 9 arcs over and streaks to orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station delivering JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat to orbit at 7:10 a.m. p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Watch my commentary at WFTV ABC TV News Orlando and Fox 35 TV News Orlando

Ken Kremer/Space UpClose launch commentary on WFTV ABC 9 News Orlando on Dec. 16, 2019

 

Ken Kremer/Space UpClose launch commentary on Fox 35 News Orlando on Dec. 16, 2019

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports onsite for live reporting of the upcoming Starliner OFT mission & SpaceX JCSAT launch at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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

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

Ken’s upcoming outreach events:

Dec 17/18/19: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “Boeing Starliner Launches to ISS & SpaceX JCSAT launch.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale

 

 

 

UpClose view of payload fairing from SpaceX Falcon 9 standing vertical at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat launch slated for launch Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 stands vertical at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 comsat launch slated for launch Dec. 16. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Mission logo for JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 communications satellite
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.