Cape Canaveral: SpaceX on Monday successfully launched a communications satellite for Turkmenistan from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 7:03 pm ET from Launch Complex 40 after a nearly 50-minute delay due to cloud cover.
This time, the rocket was carrying what will be the first satellite operated by the Central Asian nation. It was the second launch in a month for Elon Musk-owned Company. Unlike its previous missions, SpaceX said there will be no landing attempt for the first stage on this launch because the rocket needs all its fuel to punch the payload into geosynchronous orbit.
Once in orbit, the satellite, weighing about 4,500-kg, will relay television broadcasts and other services to more than 1.2 billion people in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. By 7:45 pm, SpaceX confirmed successful deployment in orbit of the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSat communications satellite for Thales Alenia Space.
“Rocket launches good, satellite in geo transfer orbit Still so damn intense. Looking fwd to it feeling normal one day,” said Elon Musk on Twitter. SpaceX’s next attempt to land the rocket’s first stage will be in June.