SpaceX Launches JCSAT-18

JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 is lofted into the heavens aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Photo by Steven Keagle.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lit up the Florida evening, lifting the JCSAT-18 and Kacific-1 communications satellites into orbit. This launch was sourced for Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. and Kacific Broadband Satellites and will deliver Ku-Band communications to southeast Asia. After launch, JCSAT-18 and Kacific-1 will be delivered into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit.

After launch, SpaceX attempted to capture the rocket and both halves of the payload fairing. This launch was the third launch this year for this particular rocket (B1056), having delivered supplies to the ISS on both previous missions (CRS-17 and CRS-18). The rocket was successfully recovered by the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. The narrowly missed fairing catch attempt was carried out by Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief drone ships. The fairings are being recovered for possible future use.

SpaceX will next attempt to launch on December 30, with StarLink 2, the next batch of 60 StarLink broadband communications satellites. This finishes out the year strong as they move into a very eventful 2020.