For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
TITUSVILLE, FL – The Turkishish owed Turksat 5A telecommunications satellite is set for a sure to be spectacular nighttime launch tonight as the first SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket liftoff of 2021 from the US and Florida’s Space Coast.
And the weather outlook is decent at this time at the Florida Space Port – so start making plans if you wish to witness the liftoff.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 Turksat 5A blastoff is slated for 8:28 p.m. ET Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021from seaside Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on recently renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The launch window extends for 4 hours until just past midnight Friday at 12:28 a.m. ET
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket was raised erect this morning and is already poised for liftoff to a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
#TurkSat5A Turkish telecomsat has been raised erect for tonights #SpaceX #Falcon9 launch as bird flutters by over Indian River lagoon. Window opens 828 PM ET Jan 7. Wx 70% GO
Distant view from Titusville. UpClose pad pics later today pic.twitter.com/1mJeLYmCup
— Ken Kremer (@ken_kremer) January 7, 2021
Apparently, no static fire test of the first stage engines was run as is normally routine for SpaceX.
It settle into its orbit within four months and start service in the second half of 2021, according to Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.
Türksat 5A will be placed in a geosynchronous orbit at 31 degrees East at an altitude of about 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above Earth to provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services over a broad geographic region between west of China and east of England stretching over Turkey, as well as Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa
Weather is 70% favorable for conditions at launch time according to the 45th Space Wing
Primary concerns: Cumulus Clous Rule and Thick Cloud Rule.
Upper altitude pose a moderate risk.
Prime contractor for Türksat is Airbus and it will serve both civilian, government and military needs. .
“Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa,” SpaceX’s website says.
The satellite will carry 42 transponders and will be located at a somewhat unused Turkish orbital slot at 31 degrees east.
The expected on-orbit lifetime will be 15 years.
Adil Karaismailoglu, Turkey’s transport, and infrastructure minister, said last year that Turkey’s new communication satellites, including Turksat 5A, 5B and 6A, will make the country more powerful in space.
Liftoff had been planned previously but was postponed several times.
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about NASA missions, SpaceX, Artemis, Starlink, Commercial Crew and Artemis and 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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