SpaceX Successfully Launches Heavy Communication Satellite To Orbit; Elon Musk Prepares To Launch More
The recent flight of SpaceX rocket achieved its target and launched the heavy communication satellite, EchoStar XXIII, to the geosynchronous orbit. The launch took place on Thursday morning 2 a.m. Eastern Time by using Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite which is aimed to give communication broadcasting services across Brazil is now orbiting at 22,000 miles above the Earth's surface.
The launch was postponed twice considering the unfavorable weather conditions. However, on Thursday morning, the weather was fine with 90 percent favorable condition, and this made the launch easy. Earlier, the launch of the satellite was postponed multiple times considering the backlashes the firm experienced after the September disaster. It was initially scheduled to launch by the end of 2016, then moved to January, then to February, and finally, it launched on Thursday. The satellite was flown from Launchpad 39A located at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and this is the third launch of the firm in the year.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 16, 2017
Interestingly, the firm did not recover the first stage of the rocket considering the weight of the satellite. EchoStar XXIII is a heavy satellite that weighs 12,300 pounds. SpaceX declared that it wouldn't try to return the reusable rocket to the landing pad because of its weight. However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed the firm is working on heavy payloads that can carry heavy satellites to orbit and return to earth comfortably. According to the information available from Musk, the rockets with new payloads will start their test flights from this summer. Also, the upgraded Falcon rockets are planning to start its flights by the end of this year.
Now, it can be confirmed that the space science firm is recovering from the setback it received from the explosion of the rocket in the launch pad last year. Its next flight is scheduled for March 27, and that takes telecommunication satellite called SES-10 to the orbit. The launch is for the satellite operator SES which is based in Luxembourg.