SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket with Eutelsat 10B satellite – Spaceflight Now

Live streaming of the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket launched the Eutelsat 10B broadband communications satellite for aviation and maritime communications. Follow us twitter🇧🇷

SpaceX’s oldest active Falcon 9 booster, in service since 2018, made its final flight Tuesday night to deliver the Eutelsat broadband communications satellite into orbit on a mission to provide Internet services to aircraft and ships in the North Atlantic, Europe and the Middle East. and Africa. The mission has completed four major satellite launches for Eutelsat since early September.

The Eutelsat 10B satellite lifted off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 9:57 p.m. EST Tuesday (0257 GMT Wednesday) from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Eutelsat 10B is headed for a perch in geostationary orbit to transmit communications signals across a coverage area from the North Atlantic to Asia, using more than 100 spot beams to connect airline and cruise ship passengers, sea crews and other users en route. .

SpaceX said Monday night’s launch attempt was cleared hours before takeoff to “allow for additional pre-flight checks.” And SpaceX defied the odds on Tuesday night after forecasters predicted a 90% chance of unacceptable weather conditions for the launch.

SpaceX did not attempt to recover the first stage of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket. The launch company had agreed with Eutelsat to devote all of the Falcon 9’s lift capacity to sending the Eutelsat 10B satellite into as high an orbit as possible without first-stage spares and fuel for landing maneuvers.

A few miles north of pad 40, SpaceX was scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket earlier Tuesday to begin a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. But bad weather prevented that flight from taking off from Kennedy Space Center, delaying the mission until Saturday.

Eutelsat 10B was deployed from the upper stage of a Falcon 9 rocket about 35 minutes after launch. The rocket’s goal was to launch the spacecraft into an apogee, or furthest point from Earth, into a “supersynchronous” transfer orbit, well above Eutelsat 10B’s final operating altitude of 22,000 miles (about 36,000 kilometers). The target apogee for the Eutelsat 10B mission at the time of spacecraft deployment was 37,000 miles, or about 60,000 kilometers, according to Pascal Homsi, Eutelsat’s chief technical officer.

Instead of reserving some of its fuel for landing on the drone ship, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster fired its nine main engines a few seconds longer than usual, giving the rocket’s upper stage an extra boost. This allowed the Falcon 9’s second stage engine to place the Eutelsat 10B satellite into a higher orbit than otherwise possible.

SpaceX still planned to buy two halves of the Falcon 9 payload section for repair and reuse.

Artist’s concept of the Eutelsat 10B satellite with antennas and orbiting solar arrays. Credit: Thales Alenia Space

A spokesman for Eutelsat 10B maker Thales Alenia Space said placing the satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit would shorten the time it would take to reach its final operational geostationary orbit by about 10 days. Eutelsat 10B, based on Thales’ Spacebus Neo satellite platform, will use plasma thrusters for the orbital adjustments needed to circle its orbit at a geostationary altitude of 22,000 miles above the equator, where it will circle the Earth as the planet spins.

Eutelsat 10B has a total launch mass of about 5.5 metric tons, or about 12,000 pounds, a Thales spokesperson told Spaceflight Now on Monday.

The spent Falcon 9 mission marked the third time this month that SpaceX has jettisoned a Falcon rocket booster after the main stage on its Falcon Heavy rocket was accidentally ejected. 1 and the Falcon 9 booster on a mission in November. 12. November. The 12 mission lifted two communications satellites for Intelsat, which said the Falcon 9 paid a premium for its extra performance, resulting in the disposal of the booster in the Atlantic Ocean.

“The reason Eutelsat chose an expendable booster for this mission is due to the full fuel capacity and additional performance of the Falcon 9 rocket and the mass of the satellite, which requires proper orbital injection,” Homsi told Spaceflight Now. written questions.

Homsy declined to say how much it paid SpaceX for extra performance from the Falcon 9 on the Eutelsat 10B mission.

After entering geostationary orbit next year, Eutelsat 10B will align itself to an operational position at 10 degrees east longitude along the equator. The satellite will add capacity for Internet connectivity services for aircraft and ships along the high-traffic North Atlantic corridor between Europe and North America. According to Paris-based satellite owner and operator Eutelsat, Eutelsat 10B will provide similar services in Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East.

Eutelsat 10B carries two multi-beam high-radiation Ku-band payloads for aeronautical and maritime Internet services. Eutelsat said the two payloads have 116 spot beams capable of handling more than 50 GHz of bandwidth and offering speeds of around 35 gigabits per second.

The satellite also has two wide beam C-band and Ku-band payloads to extend the services provided by the older Eutelsat 10A satellite launched in 2009.

Eutelsat 10B is scheduled to enter service in the summer of 2023, Homsi said.

Eutelsat 10B communications satellite at the antenna test range at Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France. Credit: Eutelsat

The Eutelsat 10B launch was also the fourth major Eutelsat communications satellite launched in the last two and a half months, starting with the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket in September. Two Hotbird TV broadcast satellites joined Eutelsat’s fleet after they were launched on Falcon 9 rockets from Florida in October and earlier this month.

“It’s quite a challenge for Eutelsat’s engineering teams, which have weathered the challenge,” said Homsi.

During Tuesday night’s countdown, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle was loaded with one million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants in the final 35 minutes before liftoff.

After the teams confirmed the technical and weather parameters were “green” for launch, the nine Merlin 1D main engines in the first stage booster were fired to life with an ignition fluid called triethylaluminum/triethylborane, or TEA-TEB. After the engines went into full throttle, the hydraulic clamps were opened to release the Falcon 9 for the space climb.

Nine main engines launched Falcon 9 and Eutelsat 10B into the upper atmosphere, delivering 1.7 million pounds of thrust for more than two and a half minutes. The booster stage then shut down and separated from the Falcon 9’s upper stage to begin its uncontrolled descent into the Atlantic Ocean.

The booster is not equipped with recovery apparatus such as SpaceX’s titanium mesh wings or landing legs. And SpaceX did not deploy one of its drone ships for the expendable mission.

SpaceX’s recovery vehicle was on station to recover the Falcon 9 rocket’s payload after the bivalve half of the nose cone parachuted off Cape Canaveral and into the sea. Shortly after the Falcon 9’s upper stage engine ignited, the payload was ejected from the rocket about three and a half minutes into the flight.

The Falcon 9 rocket fired its upper stage engine twice to launch the Eutelsat 10B spacecraft into an elliptical supersynchronous transfer orbit, and then the satellite was launched from the rocket. Eutelsat 10B will deploy its solar panels and begin maneuvers with its onboard electric motor to circle its orbit at a geostationary altitude of about 22,000 miles above the equator.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1049.11)

DOWNLOADING: Eutelsat 10B communications satellite

END THE WEBSITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

START DATE: November 22, 2022

START TIME: 23:57 EST (November 23 0257 GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 10% chance of fair weather



TARGET ORBIT: super synchronous transfer orbit


    • T+00:00: Raise
    • T+01:16: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
    • T+02:43: First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
    • T+02:47: Phase separation
    • T+02:54: Second stage engine ignition
    • T+03:36: Fairing jump
    • T+08:05: Second stage engine cut (SECTION 1)
    • T+26:18: Second stage engine restart
    • T+27:27: Second stage engine cut (SECTION 2)
    • T+35:28: Eutelsat 10B separation

MISSION Statistics:

  • The 186th launch of the Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • The 195th launch of the Falcon missile family since 2006
  • 11th release of Falcon 9 booster B1049
  • The 159th Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 104th Falcon 9 launch from pad 40
  • 159th release in total from pad 40
  • 127th flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 5th SpaceX launch for Eutelsat
  • The 52nd Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • 53rd launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • 51st orbital launch attempt from Cape Canaveral in 2022

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