SpaceX's Busy Year Could Start Thursday Night With Cape Falcon 9 Launch

SpaceX lands its first Falcon 9 rocket in 2021 as if it were nothing

Zoom in / A Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch the Turksat 5A mission.

According to the news site, the technology company's Falcon 9 Rocket blasted off Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the USA state of Florida, carrying the TURKSAT 5A satellite.

The communications satellite weighs a total of 7,716 lbs (3,500 kg) and is built around the all-electric Eurostar E3000EOR bus complete with a power system that can create 12 kW for its 42 Ku-band transponders.

Turksat 5A is the first of a pair of next-generation broadcast birds that SpaceX will orbit from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida on Thursday evening. This task has a four-hour release window that opens at 8:28 pm ET (01:28 UTC Friday), with the possibility of a backup a day later.

As of midday Thursday, weather in Florida was considered 70% favorable for launch.

Both halves of the rocket's fairing - the nose cone that protects the satellite payload as it is carried into space - had also been used in previous missions. This will be the fourth flight of this base booster, which previously launched a GPS III satellite for the US Space Force in June 2020 as well as two Starlink missions to SpaceX, most recently on October 24. The rocket used in the launch had already flown three previous missions. For example, in December, the company flew a communications satellite for Sirius on the seventh aircraft of the first phase. "We basically have control in our hands".

It's not clear how many Falcon 9 rockets SpaceX will launch in 2021, but barring a disaster, that number will be high.

In 2020, SpaceX launched a record 26 Falcon 9 missions.



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