Saturday December 18th, 10:58 PM Est atop a Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-40 at CCSFS
With SpaceX launching just this morning from their West coast center of operations, Vandenberg Space Force Base the Turksat 5B mission will make the thirtieth launch for the company and ninety-ninth successful landing. This still comes with one more mission to launch before the end of the year, that being the CRS-24 mission, or Commercial Resupply Services twenty-fourth mission to bring cargo, and science to the ISS (International Space Station). This launch though still record breaking as last year SpaceX only got twenty-seven Falcon 9 rockets off the ground.
What is Turksat 5B? Well, it’s a communications satellite which will stay in geostationary orbit at 42 degrees East longitude and will serve to provide television, internet, and military services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Built by Airbus Defense and Space, and based off the Eurostar-3000EOR satellite bus, it has a mass of 9,900lbs and an expected design lifetime of fifteen years, and a meauverable lifetime of thirty-five years. The spacecraft is powered by deployable solar panels and 15kw batteries. This project started in September of 2011 with the final production contract for the Turkish Aerospace Industries planned for 2015. A few years of delays caused things to hold until in November of 2020 when satellite level tests began. Turksat 5B will use those solar arrays in combination with batteries to become the most powerful satellite in Turksat’s fleet. It’s also the first satellite for the country to have technology onboard that was designed and tested in Turkey.
SpaceX Falcon 9 B1067 was chosen to fly tonight’s launch. This marks it’s third launch and landing, this time on the drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” about 620km out into the Atlantic Ocean. Previously flown on CRS-22 and the Crew-3 mission it also marks the first non-NASA launch for B1067 and its second landing on ASOG (A Shortfall of Gravitas). Here’s a few other mission stats that fulfilled this evening:
-133rd Falcon 9 launch
-77th SpaceX launch from SLC-40
-74th Falcon 9 flight with a proven booster
-29th re-flight of a booster in 2021
-99th booster landing in history for SpaceX
-30th launch for SpaceX in a single year (new record)