SpaceX Launches South Korea’s 1st Dedicated Military Satellite, Catches Both Fairings: Photos

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying Anasis-II for the South Korean military at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 20, 2020 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL –  SpaceX successfully delivered South Korea’s first dedicated military satellite dubbed Anasis-II to orbit Monday afternoon aboard a historic recycled Falcon 9 rocket – and then landed the 1st stage booster and captured both payload fairings thereby concluding a totally successful mission on a picture perfect day on the Florida Space Coast.

The South Korean Anasis 2 military communications satellite launched aboard a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT) Monday, July 20 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This was the second launch for this particular Falcon 9 first stage booster after having flown once previously on the history making flight that successfully launched the Demo-2 crew of two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 30 from Florida.

The launch of the Anasis-II national security military communications satellite to geostationary orbit for South Korea will enable its use to help with defense needs on the Korean peninsula and the ever present threats from North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.

The satellite was built by Airbus as part of an offset package between Lockheed Martin and the South Korean government as an exchange for the purchase of 40 F-35 combat aircraft jets back in 2014.

Liftoff Monday afternoon of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) launcher finally came after another 30 minute weather delay -following multiple earlier delays including both technical issues and weather that enabled SpaceX to at last resume launches of their workhorse Falcon 9 booster

“Falcon 9 launches ANASIS-II to orbit – the second flight for this booster, which launched @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug to the @Space_Station in May. More photos → flickr.com/spacex” SpaceX tweeted.

Enjoy our Space UpClose photos of the launch and prelaunch opportunities onsite from the team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright.

Furthermore its very noteworthy is that this recycled Falcon booster featured a record turnaround launch period of just 51 days from its last launch on Demo-2.

The previous record turnaround time between launches of the same Falcon 9 booster was 62 days accomplished by SpaceX achieved with a mission lifting off Feb. 17.

Taking the long view as flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 soars to orbit carrying Anasis-II at 530 p.m. July 20, 2020 for South Korean military -see logo ! on 2nd flight – in this remote camera view. 1st Falcon 9 flight flew first 2 NASA astronauts Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley to International Space Station in 9 years from US soil on historic Demo-2 mission on May 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The nine Merlin-1D first stage engines roared to life with 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust propelling the launcher off pad 40.

UpClose Engines! Fire & Fury from 9 Merlin 1D engines producing 1.7 million pounds of thrust hurling SpaceX Falcon 9 off pad 40 past gripper arm – carrying Anasis-II to GTO for South Korea 5:30 p.m. ET July 20, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

It soon arched over eastwards over the Atlantic Ocean and exceeded the speed of sound within about one minute after liftoff.

Following stage separation, SpaceX then successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” (JRTI) droneship about eight and a half minutes after launch.

JRTI was stationed about 400 miles (640 km) downrange in the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina’s coast.

Watch this landing video from SpaceX:

“Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship,” SpaceX tweeted.

Although the launch was carried live the broadcast ended after the the 1st stage landing on JRTI

“Per the customer’s request, live coverage will end shortly after first stage landing,’ said SpaceX . 

The upper stage then fired to boost the satellite to its intended orbit.

The ANASIS-II spacecraft was deployed as planned about 32 minutes after liftoff.

ANASIS-II is a secure communications satellite built by prime contractor Airbus in Toulouse, France for the South Korean military.

“Built for South Korea, ANASIS-II will provide secured communications over wide coverage,” said Airbus.

Based on the highly reliable Eurostar platform, ANASIS-II will be the 52th Eurostar E3000 satellite launched and will operate in geostationary orbit.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying Anasis-II for the South Korean military at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 20, 2020 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Details about Anasis-II are sparse

The name ANASIS-II  is derived from Army Navy Air Force Satellite Information System-II.

It was  formerly called “KMilSatCom 1.”

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying Anasis-II for the South Korean military at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 20, 2020 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The satellite was built by Airbus as part of an offset package between Lockheed Martin and the South Korean government as an exchange for the purchase of 40 F-35 combat aircraft jets back in 2014.

Daylight Streak ! Single 30 sec exposure of recycled SpaceX Falcon 9  roaring off pad 40 5:30 p.m. ET July 20, 2020 with 1.7 million pounds liftoff thrust & exhaust vapors swirling about – carrying Anasis-II  to GTO for South Korea military forces on 2nd mission. Pad 41 at left where NASA & ULA will launch NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover on Atlas V on July 30, 2020. . Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

“Lockheed Martin is honored to deliver on the promise and commitment made to the Republic of Korea government with the successful launch of the Anasis 2 satellite,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement. “This launch and the expected in-orbit handover later this year are the first milestones signifying the completion of an offset project related to the sale of F-35s to the ROKG (Republic of Korea Government) in 2014.”

 

SpaceX also accomplished another remarkable feat – when for the first time ever both of the payload fairing halves from one mission were caught mid-air descending mid-air under parachutes by SpaceX fleet of two fairing catcher ships GO MsTree and GO MsChief.

They had been deployed from Port Canaveral.

Watch these fairing catch videos of both nose cone halves from SpaceX

 

Previously SpaceX had only been able to catch one fairing on three different occasions.

 

Watch this liftoff video from SpaceX

It was built by Airbus as part of an offset package into the purchase of 40 F-35 combat aircraft

My commentary about the Anasis-II mission was featured on WESH 2 NBC TV News Orlando on July 20 and 21 along with my prelaunch photos as well as WFTV ABC TV News Orlando on July 20 and 21

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose offers commentary about the Anasis-II mission on WESH 2 NBC TV News Orlando on July 20 and 21, 2020

 

My launch and prelaunch photos were featured at Spaceflight Now

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/07/20/spacex-delivers-south-koreas-first-military-satellite-into-on-target-orbit/

 

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and more onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space 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.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying Anasis-II for the South Korean military at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 20, 2020 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

 

 

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying Anasis-II for the South Korean military at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 20, 2020 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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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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