GALLERY: Block 5 Falcon 9 sends Telstar 19V into space

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launches the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite into space from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Photo Credit: Scott Schilke / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Launching in the early-morning hours of July 22, 2018, SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 sent the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite into space. This was the second flight of the latest version of the company’s rocket.

Liftoff took place at 1:50 a.m. EDT (05:50 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40. There was a 40 percent chance of unfavorable weather occurring during the four-hour launch window. However, “no go” conditions stayed away and the flight took place on time at the beginning of the window.

After the Falcon 9’s nine first stage Merlin 1D engines ignited, their combined 1.7 million pounds (7,600 kilonewtons) of thrust propelled the vehicle off the pad to send its 15,600-pound (7,076-kilogram) payload skyward.

About 2.5 minutes later, having competed its job, the first stage separated from the stack. It continued on a parabolic trajectory, performing a series of burns along the way, to land on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You,” downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

Meanwhile the second stage continued powering toward orbit with its single Merlin Vacuum engine, which ignited seconds after stage separation. About 8.5 minutes after leaving Florida, the stage and its payload reached a low-Earth parking orbit. Then 18 minutes later its engine re-ignited for about 50 seconds to raise the high point of its orbit, achieving a geostationary transfer orbit.

After a mission elapsed time of about 33 minutes, Telstar 19 VANTAGE was deployed from the rocket. The satellite will use onboard propulsion to circularize its orbit some 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers)—geostationary orbit—and move into the orbital slot at 63 degrees west to provide communications coverage between northern Canada and South America.

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Photos courtesy of Scott Schilke and Graham Smith of SpaceFlight Insider’s visual team.

TELSTAR-19VCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 took on July 22, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. EDT (05:50 GMT). The mission got underway at the opening of a four-hour long launch window. The weather was predicted to provide a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions for the flight. However, thick cumulus clouds stayed far enough away from the area to allow for an on-time liftoff. Based on the SSL 1300 platform, the spacecraft weighs about 15,600 pounds (7,076 kilograms) and is designed to operate for about 15 years. It’s two solar panels are expected to provide about 15 kilowatts of power. Photos courtesy: Scott Schilke


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