SpaceX Conducts 18th Launch of Year

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX successfully launched the Es’hail-2 satellite on Thursday, November 15 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff occurred at 3:46 p.m. EST, or 20:46 UTC, and the satellite was deployed to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) about 32 minutes after liftoff.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the Es’hail-2 mission previously supported the Telstar 19 VANTAGE mission in July 2018. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the Es’hail-2 mission previously supported the Telstar 19 VANTAGE mission in July 2018. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Payload

The Es’hail-2 satellite is based on the Mitsubishi Electric (MELCO) DS 2000 satellite bus, a proven, modular platform with high power capability and flexibility for a broad range of applications.

In addition to offering Ku-band resources to support the growing 25.5⁰E / 26.0°E broadcast neighborhood, Es’hail-2 also features multi-transponder Ka-band capacity, providing business and government sectors with secure communications across the Middle East and North Africa region. In partnership with leading service providers, Es’hailSat will offer a portfolio of broadcast and VSAT services to support business growth.

The spacecraft’s multi-mission architecture will enable Es’hailSat to respond to demand for the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and North Africa, including content transfer, broadcast distribution, enterprise communications, and government services.

Launch Facility

Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1960s. Originally built to support the Apollo program, LC-39A supported the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4), and many subsequent Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 in July 1969. Beginning in the late 1970s, LC-39A was modified to support Space Shuttle launches, hosting the first and last shuttle missions to orbit in 1981 and 2011 respectively.

In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA for the use of historic LC-39A. Since then, the company has made significant upgrades to modernize the pad’s structures and ground systems, while also preserving its important heritage. Extensive modifications to LC-39A have been made to support launches of both commercial and crew missions on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.